Par­lia­ment ready to deal with any dis­rup­tions dur­ing Sona

The Citizen (KZN) - - News - Sipho Mabena

Par­lia­ment has as­sured the public that there are ap­pro­pri­ate mech­a­nisms to main­tain deco­rum and dig­nity dur­ing the State of the Na­tion ad­dress (Sona) or any pro­gramme of par­lia­ment.

This af­ter the Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers (EFF) re­peat­edly vowed to stop Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa from speak­ing to­mor­row be­cause he has ig­nored the party’s calls for him to fire Public En­ter­prises Min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han.

Na­tional Assem­bly spokesper­son, Moloto Mothapo, yes­ter­day said ex­ist­ing joint rules of par­lia­ment suf­fi­ciently pro­tect sit­tings of the Houses and com­mit­tees from dis­or­der.

“Open threats to dis­rupt the work of par­lia­ment, in­clud­ing the prop­a­ga­tion of con­spir­acy the­o­ries, are not in the in­ter­ests of the public.

“They serve only as at­tempts to dis­tract par­lia­ment from its work,” he said.

Mothapo said parties or mem­bers of par­lia­ment with ev­i­dence of any al­leged plot to un­law­fully use po­lice in the cham­ber dur­ing Sona were ad­vised to sub­mit it to the pre­sid­ing of­fi­cers.

He said South Africans face a range of so­cio-eco­nomic hard­ships and that par­lia­ment and public rep­re­sen­ta­tives have an obli­ga­tion to en­sure a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for the Sona, which out­lines in­ter­ven­tions to tackle these hard­ships.

Mothapo said Sona also gives par­lia­ment an op­por­tu­nity for ef­fec­tive over­sight over the ex­ec­u­tive to en­sure qual­ity de­liv­ery of ser­vices.

“The pre­sid­ing of­fi­cers are look­ing for­ward to a suc­cess­ful Sona and are pleased with the state of readi­ness for this im­por­tant oc­ca­sion, as they pre­pare to host more than 2 000 in­vited guests,” Mothapo said.

The EFF said there was a “mis­guided and fool­ish” in­ten­tion to bring mem­bers of the po­lice dressed in white and black, in a sim­i­lar way as was done in the fifth par­lia­ment in de­fence of for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma.

The party said this was against joint rules of par­lia­ment that only the sergeant-at-arms or Par­lia­men­tary Pro­tec­tion Ser­vices could re­move a mem­ber.

“The ar­ro­gance to un­der­mine the Con­sti­tu­tional Court and rules of par­lia­ment so early in the term of the sixth par­lia­ment to de­fend an in­de­ci­sive and in­com­pe­tent [Ramaphosa] will only col­lapse the proper func­tion­ing of par­lia­ment.

“The move to con­spire with Saps [SA Po­lice Ser­vice] by par­lia­ment is un­law­ful and board­ers on con­sti­tu­tional delin­quency by the pre­sid­ing of­fi­cers of par­lia­ment.

“Any at­tempt to sup­press the op­po­si­tion, who are pro­tected by the pow­ers, priv­i­leges and im­mu­ni­ties of par­lia­ment and Pro­vin­cial Leg­is­la­tures Act will be met by de­ci­sive and rad­i­cal re­sponse,” the party said in a state­ment.

The party re­it­er­ated that it will not be in­tim­i­dated and would not al­low the pro­ceed­ings of Sona to con­tinue as long as Gord­han was min­is­ter.

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