Warren Mabona
1 minute read
18 Nov 2014
12:50 pm

Parliamentary crisis committee formed

Warren Mabona

Political parties represented in Parliament will establish a committee to tackle the problems plaguing the House.

Parliament. Picture by Michel Bega

The announcement was made by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at a media briefing in Parliament on Tuesday. He said agreement to form a committee was reached by party leaders at a meeting held in Parliament earlier in the morning.

The 11 leaders who attended the gathering included ANC chief whip Stone Sizani, DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa and Economic Freedom Fighters MP Khanyisile Litchfield-Tshabalala.

“We had a sense that Parliament was facing a crisis that needed to be addressed collectively,” said Ramaphosa.

“We agreed to accept it is necessary for us to meet as political parties. We must have a Parliament where proper debate takes place, and will look at all issues that happened in Parliament in the past and find solutions to them.”

The committee will have its first meeting next week.

Ramaphosa said a report on the disciplinary process against 20 EFF MPs would therefore be held in abeyance while parties sought a political solution.

Chaos erupted in the National Assembly last Thursday night when EFF MP Keneilwe Mashabela refused to leave the House after she was asked to do so. She had called President Jacob Zuma a “thief” during a debate on the Grand Inga Hydro Project.

A day later, EFF leader Julius Malema vowed his party would bar Zuma from making any presentation in the House, unless he answered the questions in the National Assembly on the Nkandla security upgrades.

Ramaphosa pointed out the committee would ensure government executives answered questions in Parliament without being insulted. He said presiding officers needed to apply the rules of Parliament without favour or prejudice.