Op­po­si­tion par­ties meet­ing Cyril to thrash things out

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - BA­BALO NDENZE

OP­PO­SI­TION par­ties were to call for greater ac­count­abil­ity from Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and mem­bers of his cab­i­net when they met Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa to­day.

Ramaphosa is meet­ing lead­ers of 11 po­lit­i­cal par­ties rep­re­sented in Par­lia­ment at Tuyn­huys to “strengthen” the work­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween par­ties, after last week’s fra­cas in the Na­tional Assem­bly.

Ramaphosa was lead­ing the meet­ing in his ca­pac­ity as leader of gov­ern­ment business in Par­lia­ment.

His of­fice said 11 lead­ers of po­lit­i­cal par­ties had con­firmed their attendance by yes­ter­day.

“The meet­ing con­vened by Deputy Pres­i­dent Ramaphosa is part of on­go­ing ef­forts to strengthen and con­sol­i­date par­lia­men­tary demo­cratic pro­cesses by pro­mot­ing a sound and healthy work­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween par­lia­men­tary po­lit­i­cal par­ties and mem­bers of the na­tional ex­ec­u­tive,” his spokesman Ron­nie Mamoepa said.

DA chief whip John Steen­huisen said the of­fi­cial op­po­si­tion would be rep­re­sented by Mmusi Maimane.

He said the party would put it to Ramaphosa that rule 111(1)(a) of the Na­tional Assem­bly rules re­quired the pres­i­dent to ap­pear be­fore the House at least once ev­ery term to an­swer ques­tions from MPs.

“We will also men­tion the dys­func­tion­al­ity in Par­lia­ment be­cause we can’t carry on like this. It’s not vi­able to be con­tin­u­ing like this,” Steen­huisen said.

They would also put for­ward so­lu­tions on “how we fix this”, he added.

“One so­lu­tion could be more reg­u­lar meet­ings and hav­ing min­is­ters in the House to ac­count as well as the pres­i­dent. The deputy pres­i­dent needs to com­mit to our belief in a pro­gramme of ac­tion go­ing for­ward,” Steen­huisen said.

EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu con­firmed that the party would be send­ing its rep­re­sen­ta­tives to the meet­ing. We would tell them they must come and ac­count in Par­lia­ment.

“We are go­ing to tell him (Ramaphosa) that Zuma must come here,” Shivambu said.

The EFF would tell Ramaphosa that the ANC couldn’t “utilise Par­lia­ment to pro­tect cor­rup­tion”, he added.

United Demo­cratic Move­ment leader Bantu Holomisa felt dif­fer­ently, say­ing his party wouldn’t be bogged down by the is­sue of Zuma and ac­count­abil­ity to Par­lia­ment like the other par­ties.

“That’s not an is­sue for me … the pres­i­dent com­ing to Par­lia­ment.

“That’s not a new thing. I’m talk­ing about some­thing that will let the na­tion talk. If we say let’s have a new leg­is­la­tion on party fund­ing, it means a lot

We will sug­gest so­lu­tions to fix the cri­sis in the House

of peo­ple must be in­volved,” Holomisa said.

He said the UDM would be dis­cuss two things.

“The first one is po­lit­i­cal party fund­ing leg­is­la­tion. The sec­ond is speak­ing time (for op­po­si­tion MPs). The ANC is tak­ing all the time as if they are rep­re­sent­ing ev­ery­one,” Holomisa said.

Mamoepa said the meet­ing fol­lowed Ramaphosa’s com­mit­ment to meet lead­ers of all po­lit­i­cal par­ties rep­re­sented in Par­lia­ment “with a view to open­ing lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the two arms of the state, namely Par­lia­ment and gov­ern­ment”.

BUILD­ING BRIDGES: Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa was sched­uled to meet 11 op­po­si­tion party lead­ers to try to find a way for­ward.

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