Ramaphosa to Par­lia­ment’s res­cue

Com­mit­tee formed to help re­store or­der in a chaotic House

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

VIC­TORY for democ­racy is how the EFF has de­scribed Par­lia­ment’s decision not to pun­ish the party’s 20 MPs for dis­rupt­ing the House in Au­gust and planned dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against other MPs for last week’s chaos.

Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa yes­ter­day met the lead­ers of op­po­si­tion par­ties at Tuyn­huys.

He told jour­nal­ists after the meet­ing that a com­mit­tee of party lead­ers had been es­tab­lished to iron out all prob­lems fac­ing Par­lia­ment.

The com­mit­tee will hold its first meet­ing next week and will com­prise Ramaphosa, Na­tional Assem­bly Speaker Baleka Mbete and op­po­si­tion lead­ers.

While yes­ter­day’s meet­ing was planned months ago, it came at a time when op­po­si­tion par­ties were de­mand­ing a po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion to the cri­sis in Par­lia­ment.

Dur­ing yes­ter­day’s sit­ting, Par­lia­ment was sup­posed to de­bate and adopt the re­port on the pun­ish­ment of 20 EFF MPs for caus­ing a riot in the House in Au­gust, but that was shelved after Ramaphosa in­ter­vened.

EFF MP Khany­isile Litch­field­Tsha­bal­ala said the bro­ker­ing of a truce be­tween the ANC and op­po­si­tion par­ties was a demon­stra­tion of the spirit of democ­racy.

She said that dur­ing the meet­ing with the deputy pres­i­dent, they man­aged to ad­dress all

Athe stick­ing points the party had about how Par­lia­ment was run.

“The meet­ing was pro­duc­tive, in that the is­sue of im­par­tial­ity in Par­lia­ment was not hap­pen­ing. If there is a will­ing­ness to find a po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion we are happy,” she said re­fer­ring to the halt­ing of dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against the MPs.

“The deputy pres­i­dent has steered this with a lot of as­sis­tance from us as the op­po­si­tion. This is not a vic­tory for the EFF, it is a vic­tory for mul­ti­party democ­racy,” Litch­field-Tsha­bal­ala added.

ANC chief whip Stone Sizani said it did not mean the rul­ing party had lost con­trol of Par­lia­ment to the op­po­si­tion.

He said all the par­ties would be bound by de­ci­sions taken by the com­mit­tee.

He said the com­mit­tee would hold an ur­gent meet­ing next week to ad­dress all the chal­lenges fac­ing the Na­tional Assem­bly.

DA par­lia­men­tary leader Mmusi Maimane said the es­tab­lish­ment of this com­mit­tee was an ad­mis­sion by the ANC gov­ern­ment that Par­lia­ment was not func­tion­ing un­der Mbete.

He said the DA wel­comed the fact that Mbete would not pur­sue dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against some of the MPs for last week’s chaos in Par­lia­ment.

He added that the DA would con­tinue to push for Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma to be held to ac­count for the money spent on his Nkandla homestead.


VI­TAL TALKS: Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa meets mem­bers of op­po­si­tion par­ties at Tuyn­huys in Cape Town yes­ter­day.

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