Lifeline for failed peace deal between political parties
Meeting will again try to iron out problems that have disrupted parliamentary sessions
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.