1 minute read
28 Nov 2014
7:24 am

Deputy Speaker halts EFF attempts to filibuster


EFF attempts to filibuster in the National Assembly ahead of a vote to adopt a report recommending the suspension of some of that party's MPs were eventually halted by Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli on Thursday evening.

FILE PICTURE: Former Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and current Deputy Speaker of Parliament Lechesa Tsenoli. (Photo: GCIS)

After debate on the report – compiled by Parliament’s powers and privileges committee – the ANC’s Chief Whip, Stone Sizani, moved that it be adopted.

At that point, and before voting could take place, EFF Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu rose to move an amendment to the resolution.

But it soon became clear that Shivambu wished to quote extensively from the report, a process that could well have gone on for hours.

Sizani rose on a point of order to tell Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli: “We know what they are doing, they are trying to filibuster.”

Tsenoli told Shivambu that an amendment to a motion had to be “short and succinct”.

He further told him: “You must not quote from records that are before the House.”

EFF leader Julius Malema objected.

“You cannot refuse us an opportunity to amend,” he told Tsenoli.

Following numerous points of order from around the House, which went on for more than an hour, Malema then asked Tsenoli to spell out what he was ruling.

“If you are refusing us, [then] please put on record that you are refusing us,” Malema said.

Tsenoli said he was not refusing the EFF permission to move an amendment.

“I have given you ample opportunity [to move an amendment] and you have not taken it up. You have not done so, and so it’s done.

He later said: “You have been given ample opportunity… so we are taking it that you are not moving an amendment.”

Tsenoli then turned his attention to an amendment moved by the Democratic Alliance.