De­bate on un­ruly EFF MPs to re­sume

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

TEN­SION in Par­lia­ment is ex­pected to heighten dur­ing the spe­cial sit­ting to­mor­row when par­ties de­bate the pow­ers and priv­i­leges com­mit­tee re­port to pun­ish 20 EFF MPs for dis­rupt­ing the cham­ber months ago.

This fol­lows con­fir­ma­tion by all sides that the peace deal be­tween the state and op­po­si­tion par­ties is off.

Par­lia­ment con­firmed yes­ter­day that the po­lice would be per­form­ing their du­ties in the precinct, but the or­der of the business of Par­lia­ment was in the hands of par­ties.

Speaker Baleka Mbete has called the sit­ting to com­plete last week’s business.

More trou­ble is ex­pected in the sit­ting to­mor­row when the House adopts the re­port.

Mbete said the sit­ting would have to con­clude the business that was sup­posed to have been fi­nalised last week be­cause of in­ter-party squab­bles.

The burn­ing is­sue for Par­lia­ment is the re­port of the pow­ers and priv­i­leges com­mit­tee to pe­nalise the 20 EFF MPs for dis­rupt­ing pro­ceed­ings in Au­gust.

The re­port was one of the stick­ing points in the deal struck by Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa and op­po­si­tion par­ties.

Ten­sion due to rise as Par­lia­ment de­cides sen­tence

As part of the deal, sen­tences im­posed on EFF MPs were held in abeyance un­til the stale­mate on the run­ning of Par­lia­ment has been re­solved.

But since the deal col­lapsed last week, and con­firmed on Mon­day in Joburg by both Ramaphosa and the op­po­si­tion, the charges against the EFF mem­bers have been re­in­stated.

The ANC has al­ready in­di­cated that some of the par­ties were in­tent on not find­ing a so­lu­tion to the prob­lems in Par­lia­ment, but want to see the dis­rup­tion of pro­ceed­ings no mat­ter what hap­pens.

Par­lia­ment spokesman Luzuko Ja­cobs said to­mor­row’s sit­ting would go head as planned.

“For Par­lia­ment to con­duct its work suc­cess­fully, it’s not the duty of the se­cu­rity ser­vices. It is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the par­ties them­selves.”

This could be done through the con­duct of all par­ties by stick­ing to the rules of Par­lia­ment and main­tain­ing the deco­rum of the House.

While the po­lice would be present in Par­lia­ment, the par­ties would have to play their role of re­spect­ing the rules of the House, said Ja­cobs.

Mean­while, the Pres­i­dency and ANC have de­nied that Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma has re­fused to an­swer ques­tions in Par­lia­ment. They said the pres­i­dent had made five ap­pear­ances in Par­lia­ment this year.

Ramaphosa in­sisted in his oral re­ply in the Na­tional Assem­bly last Wed­nes­day that Zuma would come to Par­lia­ment only if there was a good and con­ducive cli­mate. “SHUT up, pup­pets!”

The ep­i­thets were be­ing flung the DA’s way be­cause its mem­bers had dared to dis­agree with the un­ruly and rowdy be­hav­iour of EFF mem­bers in the Gaut­eng leg­is­la­ture.

The EFF’s mem­bers yes­ter­day con­tin­ued to cause chaos in the leg­is­la­ture and openly re­fused to obey in­struc­tions from Speaker Ntombi Mekgwe.

Last week, EFF mem­bers – par­tic­u­larly Man­disa Mashego and Pa­trick Sin­dane – launched at­tacks on two MECs, Ja­cob Mam­abolo and Siza­kele Nkosi-Malobane.

Mashego later went on to at­tack ANC chief whip Brian


‘NO GREAT SHAKES’: The DA’s Gaut­eng leader John Moodey and party fi­nance spokesman Mike Mo­ri­arty an­nounce their score­card of the per­for­mance of the ANC MECs in the leg­is­la­ture yes­ter­day.

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