Life­line for failed peace deal be­tween po­lit­i­cal par­ties

Meet­ing will again try to iron out prob­lems that have dis­rupted par­lia­men­tary ses­sions

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

HE FAL­TERED peace deal be­tween the gov­ern­ment and op­po­si­tion par­ties in Par­lia­ment is be­ing re­sus­ci­tated in what could be de­scribed as a make-or-break meet­ing to­day.

The talks be­tween Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa and lead­ers of op­po­si­tion par­ties in Pre­to­ria come a few days after the deputy pres­i­dent and ANC called off the deal after

Tthe DA had re­neged on it. But the two sides are giv­ing the peace deal another chance as they try to re­solve the stale­mate on the prob­lems fac­ing Par­lia­ment.

ANC chief whip Stone Sizani said yes­ter­day he hoped the meet­ing would be able to re­solve all the prob­lems that have cropped up about the run­ning of Par­lia­ment.

He would not say whether the meet­ing would also put the is­sue of the re­port on sanc­tions meted out to 20 EFF MPs for dis­rupt­ing Par­lia­ment in Au­gust on the ta­ble.

The re­port was sup­posed to be adopted in Thurs­day’s par­lia­men­tary sit­ting, after an in­fu­ri­ated ANC put it back on the agenda be­cause the DA had back­tracked on the deal.

The DA had tabled a mo­tion of cen­sure against Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma.

After a seven-hour stand-off be­tween the ANC and op­po­si­tion par­ties in Par­lia­ment on Thurs­day, it was agreed to re­move that item from the agenda un­til this week.

While Par­lia­ment was ex­pected to rise on Fri­day, it was post­poned for a week to re­solve out­stand­ing is­sues.

The mat­ter of the dis­ci­plinary charges against and sen­tences meted out to EFF mem­bers was one of the items on the agenda.

Sizani said it could also be part of the meet­ing.

“The meet­ing is to take that process for­ward and op­er­a­tionalise it. Whether it’s go­ing to be back on the agenda or held in abeyance will de­pend on the meet­ing to­mor­row (to­day),” said Sizani.

DA chief whip John Steen­huisen said DA par­lia­men­tary leader Mmusi Maimane would at­tend the meet­ing with the deputy pres­i­dent.

He de­nied claims by the ANC and Ramaphosa that the DA had stalled the process by reneg­ing on the deal.

He said Ramaphosa had no au­thor­ity to talk about the business of Par­lia­ment, but about the en­vi­ron­ment in the Na­tional Assem­bly as leader of gov­ern­ment business.

He said that at the meet­ing at Tuyn­huys on Tues­day, the DA had agreed with Ramaphosa to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment for Par­lia­ment to func­tion.

The party had never en­tered any deal beyond that.

Steen­huisen de­nied that the DA had cre­ated a stale­mate after its mo­tion of cen­sure against the pres­i­dent, as in­di­cated by Ramaphosa in a state­ment and his oral re­sponse in the Na­tional Assem­bly on Wed­nes­day.

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