A TO Z OF OUR PARLY

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An­disiwe Mak­i­nana takes us through a tur­bu­lent 2015

A Ab­sen­teeism Although they do their jobs un­der close pub­lic scru­tiny and de­spite Par­lia­ment in­stalling a mul­ti­mil­lion-rand bio­met­ric sys­tem to im­prove at­ten­dance, some MPs sim­ply do not pitch up for work and there are ab­so­lutely no con­se­quences.

B Bills A to­tal of 42 bills were tabled in Par­lia­ment this year and 25 were passed, in­clud­ing four that are needed to give ef­fect to the bud­get and the midterm bud­get pol­icy state­ment. Some were passed on the sec­ond or third at­tempt, while a few were held over for 2016.

C Cat­calls Yes, MPs are not above this ju­ve­nile be­hav­iour. Cope MP Dei­dre Carter has on sev­eral oc­ca­sions com­plained to pre­sid­ing of­fi­cers about the sex­ual ha­rass­ment from the Na­tional Assem­bly’s “Cas­tle Corner”, a rowdy sec­tion of the House oc­cu­pied by ANC back­benchers.

D Delela, also Doris Dlakude When Deputy Speaker Lech­esa Tsenoli said to Eco­nomic Free­dom Fighters (EFF) MPs “niyadelela” (you are be­ing dis­re­spect­ful), the least he ex­pected was for that re­buke to trend on so­cial net­works. It did.

On pa­per, Dlakude is the ANC’s deputy chief whip, but in re­al­ity, she runs the show. She is a no-non­sense woman and a ris­ing star in the party. E EFF Crit­ics con­tinue to lam­bast the red over­alls for their “dis­rup­tive” pol­i­tics, but sup­port­ers say their brand of pol­i­tics is what Par­lia­ment needed to shake up the rather com­fort­able gov­ern­ing party. F #FeesMustFall When the #FeesMustFall stu­dents marched on Par­lia­ment and broke through the par­lia­men­tary gates, pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives were caught un­pre­pared and con­tin­ued in­side with busi­ness as usual, while out­side the Na­tional Assem­bly build­ing, the po­lice fired stun grenades and tear gas.

G Growth As in lack of eco­nomic growth, which has ev­ery­body tight­en­ing their belts, in­clud­ing MPs, who no longer get the lus­cious spread of food they used to get in port­fo­lio com­mit­tee meet­ings.

H Honourable MPs in­sist on the ti­tle Honourable and go to great lengths in do­ing so, even hurl­ing in­sults while de­mand­ing to be ad­dressed as “Honourable So and So”.

I In­spec­tor gen­eral of in­tel­li­gence (Spooks om­bud) This is a con­sti­tu­tional re­quire­ment, but the po­si­tion has been va­cant for nine months be­cause the ANC can­not get sup­port for its pre­ferred can­di­date, Ce­cil Burgess.

When his ap­point­ment came to the House for de­bate and ap­proval, even ANC MPs stayed away en­sur­ing there was no quo­rum for the ap­point­ment to be con­sid­ered.

J Jus­tice com­mit­tee Par­lia­ment’s port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on jus­tice and con­sti­tu­tional de­vel­op­ment has be­come a joke, but one with a sharp edge for Public Pro­tec­tor Thuli Madon­sela. Her chap­ter 9 in­sti­tu­tion is be­ing sin­gled out for crit­i­cism by ANC MPs led by com­mit­tee chair­per­son Mathole Mot­shekga.

K Kohler Barnard Pos­si­bly the hard­est-work­ing DA MP in Par­lia­ment, but Dianne Kohler Barnard’s fu­ture in the in­sti­tu­tion is hang­ing by a thread af­ter she shared a Face­book post fondly re­mem­ber­ing PW Botha’s apartheid gov­ern­ment.

L Love There was very lit­tle of it to go around in Par­lia­ment this year.

M Mgid­lana Gengezi Mgid­lana, new sec­re­tary to Par­lia­ment, did not en­dear him­self to any­one in the in­sti­tu­tion. Mgid­lana wreaked havoc, from politi­cians to staff mem­bers and jour­nal­ists.

N Nkandla, also Nh­leko Nkandla con­tin­ued to dom­i­nate Par­lia­ment as it has done in the past three years. EFF MPs dis­rupted Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s state of the na­tion ad­dress in Fe­bru­ary to ask about Nkandla.

Po­lice Min­is­ter Nathi Nh­leko sweated buck­ets while pre­sent­ing his con­tro­ver­sial Nkandla re­port, ac­com­pa­nied by video clips, with O Sole Mio – the song Venice’s gon­do­liers sing to tourists – play­ing in the back­ground. His pre­sen­ta­tion set out to prove that Zuma did not ben­e­fit in any man­ner from the Nkandla up­grades.

O Op­po­si­tion It was a big year for Mmusi Maimane. He was elected the new DA leader and tried to stamp his au­thor­ity in Par­lia­ment, but de­spite beau­ti­ful speeches, he did not rise to the oc­ca­sion.

P Per­for­mance bonus Par­lia­ment was brought to its knees to­wards the end of the year as most of its em­ploy­ees em­barked on an un­pro­tected strike de­mand­ing that their per­for­mance bonuses be paid based on a per­cent­age of their to­tal yearly salary.

Q Ques­tion time The ab­sence of min­is­ters and Pres­i­dent Zuma’s lack of an­swers drove the op­po­si­tion to frus­tra­tion at ev­ery ses­sion set aside for Q&A, but the pre­sid­ing of­fi­cers were on hand to de­fend the ex­ec­u­tive.

R Rules After many years, the re­view of the rules was fi­nally com­pleted, but Par­lia­ment could not adopt them in time be­fore the end of the par­lia­men­tary year.

Ac­cord­ing to the new rules, it will be good­bye to over­alls and hard hats, and only party whips will be al­lowed to rise on a point of or­der.

S Sig­nal jam­mer Shock­ingly, the state used a sig­nal jam­mer at the state of the na­tion ad­dress. This cut off elec­tronic com­mu­ni­ca­tions for those in the House, in­clud­ing jour­nal­ists who could not do their work from the press gallery.

T Thixo wase Ge­orge Goch Only Zuma knows about him, but it seems he’s a god who per­forms mir­a­cles for the pres­i­dent.

U Uni­form of wait­ers The white-shirted brigade of pub­lic or­der po­lice who bun­dled EFF MPs out of Par­lia­ment dur­ing the state of the na­tion ad­dress.

V Vet­ting Par­lia­ment launched a pro­gramme to re-vet and de­ter­mine the se­cu­rity com­pe­tence of its of­fi­cials, say­ing this was re­quired by Par­lia­ment’s se­cu­rity pol­icy. But the tim­ing of the vet­ting re­mains sus­pi­cious, es­pe­cially since Par­lia­ment em­ploy­ees are vet­ted in any case when they join the in­sti­tu­tion.

W Win­nie Madik­izela-Man­dela Yes, she is still an MP, al­though we may have seen her only once in Par­lia­ment this year. Some­one please give her a GPS.

X Xeno­pho­bia A word that does not ex­ist in the vo­cab­u­lary of ANC MPs. Ac­cord­ing to the ANC, the word and xeno­pho­bia do not oc­cur in South Africa.

Y Year 2015 It was a non­stop, hurly-burly, pol­i­tics-packed, dra­marid­den, tu­mul­tuous 12 months.

Z Gig­gle, Zuma gig­gle ... is it hurt­ing you?

Dianne Kohler Barnard

Win­nie Madik­ize­laMan­dela

Gengezi Mgid­lana

Doris Dlakude

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