News 17.2.2016 02:32 pm

MPs reminded of house rules during Sona debate

FILE PICTURE: Baleka Mbethe Speaker of the National Assembly, Cape Town. Picture: GCIS.

FILE PICTURE: Baleka Mbethe Speaker of the National Assembly, Cape Town. Picture: GCIS.

“Freedom of speech should not infringe upon privileges of other members of Parliament.”-Mbethe

The second and last day of the 2016 State of the Nation Address (Sona) debate on Wednesday, started off with Speaker Baleka Mbethe reminding MPs about house rules following the attacks on President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday.

Zuma came under heavy criticism on Tuesday, particularly from the DA and EFF leaders in Mmusi Maimane and Julius Malema.

Maimane said Zuma was residing in a parallel universe which called “Planet Zuma”.

Maimane said the President was not an honourable man.

Malema on the other hand said the signs of Zuma not being fit to lead the country, showed when the President knowingly slepts with an HIV positive woman, and later said he took a shower to lessen the risks of contracting the diseases.

Mbethe said MPs have been consistently reminded of the rules and to take responsibility for their behaviour.

“Freedom of speech should not infringe upon privileges of other members of Parliament and when rights are violated, presiding officers are within their rights to act.

“The fourth Parliament ruled that MPs must avoid using rude and unbecoming language, and remarks of racist, sexist, personal and hurtful nature are completely out order…completely out of order,” Mbethe said.

She said during the debate on Tuesday, unpaliamentary remarks were made, with names of premiers being mentioned, some accused of being corrupt.

Mbethe said such remarks were unpaliamentary.

She said the remarks of a personal and private nature about the President, were also out of order, adding that if such behaviour is allowed to continue, the image and effectiveness of Parliament could be undermined.

Zuma is expected to respond on Thursday.-stevent@citizen.co.za

 

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