The Rules Committee met to consider the Subcommittee Report on the Review of the National Assembly Rules. The ANC supported the proposed new criteria for the processing of motions without notice. The criteria were now that at least five parties including the majority party and the largest minority party should notify the National Assembly Secretary at least 30 minutes before the House sitting commenced that they had no objection to the motion being moved without notice. The DA and EFF MPs objected to this proposal and complained that it allowed only the ANC and DA to express their motions in the House while suppressing smaller parties. The House Chairperson: Committees, Oversight and ICT assured them that
The Committee proposed to increase the time for ministers and deputy ministers to respond to the questions in the House from two to three minutes. However, the opposition parties maintained that it was logical to retain the current Rule 105(6) where Members are given 90 seconds in which to read out their Members’ statements and then Ministers are given two minutes to respond. The EFF indicated that it would support the proposal to increase the time allocated for response by ministers or deputy ministers only if the time for Members’ statements was also increased. It was suggested that that the ministerial responses should specify precisely the questions that were being addressed or responded to in order to ensure that all the questions were adequately answered without being conflated. The EFF proposal to sanction a minister that missed more than one Question and Reply session in the House was not accepted nor was the suggestion to allow opposition members to chair parliamentary committees.
The DA pointed out that in a quest to create the space for a vibrant parliament, that parliaments around the world allowed an opportunity for Members to have unscripted questions when there is an exchange with ministers and the President. It was suggested that in Chapter 10: Questions, it should be stipulated that Members should be given an opportunity to ask unscripted questions to the President, Deputy President, or ministers and deputy ministers. This was to prevent the situation where the ministers or the President would just come to the House with pre-prepared scripts that had been prepared by an official in that department or in the presidency.
The ANC proposed that the composition of the Rules Committee was too large and needed to be reduced from 50 Members to 10 ANC Members and 7 Members from the opposition parties and then the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker. The EFF opposed this proposal, highlighting that the Rules Committee needed the “strongest force” as it was dealing with critical matters such as finance, budget and the administration of Parliament. The EFF was strongly opposed to the current configuration of the Disciplinary Committee as it meant it would operate at the discretion of the ruling party. The Constitution was clear that MPs could not be prosecuted for their statements in the House as there was absolute freedom of speech in that sense.
A vote had to be held on the changed sequence of proceedings where motions without notice would now come at the end of the House proceedings. The DA, EFF and IFP objected to the proposed change in the sequence of proceedings but the ANC vote for the proposed change, carried. Members proposed that it would be best to suspend the debate on the dress code in the House until the Committee had come up with dress code guidelines befitting the House.
The Rules of National Assembly were agreed to in principle with objection from the EFF.
The Rules Committee continued to consider the proposed amendments to the National Assembly Rules as proposed by its Rules Review Subcommittee.
Chapter 7 Motions
Mr N Matiase (EFF) said the Committee should not allow a situation where the right of political parties to formulate their own motions is taken away from parties and this right is placed with the appointed officials of Parliament, whether it is the Secretary of Parliament or even the Speaker. The motion should be circulated amongst parties for concurrence or consensus and it should be upon the House to decide whether to accept or reject the proposed motion.
Mr M Waters (DA) asked for the rationale for introducing Rule 97(2)(b) as the current situation for motions without notice did not require that the number of motions without notice on any sitting day and the period of time within which such motions must be completed on that day and the sequence of party participation, was to be determined by the Rules Committee. He also noted that the criteria for motion without notice requiring that at least five parties including the majority party and the largest minority party should notify the National Assembly Secretary at least 30 minutes before the House sitting commenced that they had no objection to the motion being moved without notice, would give more power to the ruling party while disempowering the minority parties from formulating their own motions.
Mr Kasper Hahndiek, former National Assembly Secretary and consultant, responded that Rule 94(4) referred to the objections without notice and this could be because of the content of the proposal and it was not about objecting to the substance of the motion that is proposed.
Mr C Frolick (ANC), House Chairperson: Committees, Oversight and ICT, agreed that indeed Parliament did not have the sequence of party participation in the motions at the moment but there is a sequence that is being followed by the Programme Committee for the scheduling of the motions in the House which determines the motions to be debated in the House. The Speaker still did not prevent Members from giving written notice of motions and there were few political parties that made use of an opportunity to give written notice of motions. The proposed criteria for the processing of motions were to ensure that the House does not spend an inordinate amount of time on motions. Motions often appear on the scheduled Order Paper while parties knew that only a few motions were to be debated. No party would be disadvantaged or advantaged by this proposed amendment and parties would still decide on the motions to be debated in the House.
Mr Frolick said that motions without notice were on matters of national and international significance and the views that are expressed are usually those having the consensus of the House. It was impossible for any Member to just come to the Chamber and read an unprepared motion as the Chief Whips needed to be aware of the motions to be read in the Chamber. The proposed amendment was precisely intended to prevent the situation where only one political party should decide on the motion to be discussed in the House.
Mr Waters maintained that the proposed amendment was disadvantaging smaller parties and perhaps it would be advisable to stipulate that all parties should be given an opportunity to read out their motions.
Mr M Mdakane (ANC) responded that the point that had been made was that a motion without notice would only qualify if it was in line with the eight criteria that had been provided. The rationale for increasing parties that support the motion to be debated in the House from one to five was to avoid the situation where very important motions are presented but not conveyed because they were rejected by only one party.
Mr M Ndlozi (EFF) said that the nature of motions was likely to change and the current system of dealing with motions without notice was dealt with perfectly. He warned that it was important not to pass Rules for the present but one had to take into consideration the future as well since the ANC would inevitably be an opposition party in 2019 and this had already happened in the Western Cape. Motions without notice assisted in hearing diverse voices in the House and the new proposal was likely silence those diverse voices. The EFF supported the suggestion that there should be a consensus on the motion but rejected the system that was proposed for reaching that consensus.
Mr M Booi (ANC) responded that the ANC had no fear about being in power and would not tolerate small voices that were already preaching doom. The reason to increase the number of parties that supported or objected to the motion was to avoid the situation where even condolences to the family of Members that had passed away tended to be rejected. The building of a united nation that every Member of Parliament aspired to, needed to begin within the precincts of Parliament as this was an institution that was giving confidence to South Africans. The way Parliament was conducting itself currently was demeaning and offered little confidence to South Africans. The ANC introduced the proposed amendment for the handling of motions without notice in order to enhance the image of the House.
Mr M Kubayi (ANC) added that it was impossible for EFF to approve the criteria to be used in motions without notice but yet have a problem with the process of approval of motions without notice. It was a huge waste of time to read the motions in the House that would eventually not be approved. It was best to not read any motion in the House that had already been rejected as this would assist in saving time. It was heartless to observe that there are parties that reject even the motion of condolences to the family of MPs or any important person that had passed away. It was hugely disappointing to note the situation where national sports teams had not been getting congratulatory messages because these motions had been rejected in the House. It is clear that there was something wrong in the system of motions without notice and there was a need to introduce amendments.
Mr Frolick mentioned that the intention of a motion without notice was precisely for the House to reach a consensus and there was a need to have a process where there would be engagement beforehand in the motion without notice so as to reach that consensus. There are parties that even object to motions without notice that were non-controversial and this was a matter that needed to be addressed. It must be reiterated that there are sufficient spaces created by the parliamentary programme and on any sitting day where Members would be afforded opportunity to express their ideas in the House. The intention of the proposed amendment of Chapter 7 was to regulate the motions without notice.
Mr Ndlozi said it seemed as if the problem with the current handling of motions without notice was due to condolence motions being rejected. However, it must be stated that 90% of the time the ANC had been rejecting these motions in the House because those motions had been uncomfortable for them. The proposed criteria on the motion without notice on Chapter 7 was meant to ensure that only ANC and DA would be allowed to have a voice on the motions to be expressed in the House and this was not a democratic principle but tyranny of the majority. The Constitution of the country was committed to multiparty democracy and the proposed amendment in Chapter 7 was a violation of the Constitution.
Mr Ndlozi suggested that perhaps the best way to resolve the matter was to ensure that the Rule stated that Members should not object to motions of condolences or congratulatory messages to the national teams. However, the criteria that at least five parties should support the objection or the approval of the motion without notice would arbitrarily give more power to the ruling party. The ANC had killed the whole intention of the motion without notice by introducing criteria that would favour only the majority parties at the expense of minority parties.
Mr Booi responded that Members needed to raise points that would assist in dealing with motions without notice in a democratic manner instead of resorting to labelling and throwing insults. The ANC had only proposed options to be considered by the Rules Committee and each and every Member was allowed to provide their opinion on the proposed eight criteria for the handling of motions without notice.
Mr Ndlozi interjected and maintained that he was not labelling anyone or any party as the largest majority in Parliament were the ANC and DA. The EFF was rightfully supposed to be offended by the proposed Rule which was clearly aimed at suppressing the minority parties.
Ms T Didiza (ANC) stated that on motions without notice, parties could still express their views and raise issues. The core reason for proposing the reworked criteria on motions without notice was to afford Parliament an opportunity to express a collective view to their various constituents about what Parliament feels, and this could be a condolence or a congratulatory message. Parliament as an important institution needed to have an opportunity to express views on a variety of matters, such as the recent attacks in France, Nigeria and Syria. The motions without notice were not meant to express a political view on the matter to be discussed in the House. The reason for expanding the number of parties to support or reject the proposed motion without notice in the House was to prevent a situation where only one political party could object to critically important motions without notice. It was interesting to note that the EFF had objected to the proposed criteria for a motion without notice as disadvantaging smaller parties and this was a matter that could be discussed further.
Mr Matiase indicated that the draft rules should not compromise posterity. The future should not be compromised at the expense of political expedience. The manner in which the ANC had been handling democratic practices like multiparty democracy showed that the party was a danger to itself and this was the worst form of degeneration of a former liberation movement. The current system in which motions without notice are processed is the best system and ought to be retained without being tampered with. The ANC should use its wisdom to save Parliament from sinking into the abyss.
Mr Mdakane said that the EFF had been arguing about this for some time now and it was unlikely that concurrence would be reached on the matter. It must be highlighted that no party would be excluded or marginalised with the eight criteria for processing motions without notice as five parties would include the governing party, the second largest party and the smaller parties. The Subcommittee on Review of National Assembly Rules had noted the EFF objection to the motions without notice proposal but maintained that it would ask the Rules Committee to adopt the new proposals as this was not discriminatory to any party.
Ms N Mazzone (DA) asked what had happened to the proposed option on the withdrawal and lapsing of motion as consideration should be provided if the Member in charge of the motion wished to alter the wording of the motion when formally moving it in the House. This may only happen with the leave of the House, that is, with unanimous concurrence, and if the proposed alteration is not substantive.
Mr Mdakane responded that the change in the wording of the motion could only be effected if there is a unanimous concurrence on the motion.
Mr J Steenhuisen (DA) mentioned that this was over complicating matters as the motion can be amended by the House at any time as this is generally done by majority vote.
The Chairperson suggested that the Committee move on to Chapter 8, noting the EFF and DA objections.
Members agreed with the suggestion.
Chapter 8 Discussion of urgent matters of national public importance
Mr Steenhuisen suggested that the Committee should decide on whether to make reference to “private Member” or just “Member” in Rule 103(1).
Mr Mdakane responded that the reference was made to both “private Member” and just “Member” in order to draw the distinction between the Executive Members and MPs
Mr Ndlozi added that the concern was mainly the reference to MPs as “private Members” as the information of MPs was in the public domain and therefore they were hardly private. He suggested that perhaps the wording should be changed to “non-executive Members”.
Mr Hahndiek responded that the definition of “private Member” was provided for in the definitions section of the Rules and the definition clearly stated that “private Member means any Member other than a Minister, a Deputy Minister, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker” and this was going beyond just the Executive. In essence, the reference here was meant for ordinary Members as opposed to the Executive Members or officer bearers in Parliament.
Mr Mdakane added that the Committee was trying to be in line with Private Members Bills which distinguished between the Executive and MPs.
The Members agreed with the clarification.
Chapter 9 Members’ statements and Executive statements
Mr Waters wanted to make it clear that the DA was opposed to the increase of time for ministers and deputy ministers to respond to questions in the House from two to three minutes. It was logical to retain the current Rule 105(6) where Members are given 90 seconds in which to read out their Members’ statements and then Ministers are given two minutes to respond and this was short and sharp.
Ms Kubayi replied that the ministers and deputy ministers are often pressed in terms of time to respond to questions asked in the House and it is often Members who complain that some of the questions have not been answered. The rationale behind increasing the time allocated for responses by ministers and deputy ministers was to ensure that Members are provided with comprehensive and satisfactory responses.
Mr Frolick added that the other reason for increasing the time allocated for responses by ministers and deputy ministers was that political parties do not share with anyone which Members’ statement would be read on the particular day. Members’ statements assisted Members in raising issues, either from their parties or constituencies, and there is an expectation from Members to get a response from the relevant Member of the Executive present in the House.
Ms Mazzone indicated that the main concern of the DA was that ministers or deputy ministers tended to cluster the responses to questions and this created the situation where some of the questions are not responded to or adequately addressed. She suggested that ministers or deputy ministers needed to note the name of Member that had asked a question in order to specifically address that particular Member rather than clustering responses.
Mr Ndlozi said that the EFF would only support the proposal to increase the time allocated for responses by ministers or deputy ministers only if the time for Members’ statements was also increased. It was depressing to see that Parliament was being dominated by one single voice while the voice of Members had been silenced. Ministers or deputy ministers had tended to deliberately ignore or refrain from specifically responding to the Members’ statements made in the House.
Mr Mdakane agreed that the Subcommittee on the Review of National Assembly Rules was also equally concerned that the responses of ministers or deputy ministers were not specific and did not individual address the questions asked by Members. The consensus that was reached was that Members’ statements should be as brief as possible.
Mr Steenhuisen asked for the rationale for giving the Cabinet Member more than 20 minutes to make an Executive statement while Members are only given three minutes.
Mr Mdakane replied that there are 13 political parties in Parliament and all of them often want to make their contribution on the statement made by the minister or deputy minister and it was impossible to cover all the questions asked within two minutes. The Committee did not have the problem in retaining the current time given to the Cabinet Members to make their Executive statements.
The Chairperson said that the Committee would take into consideration Ms Mazzone’s suggestion that the responses of ministers or deputy ministers should specify precisely the question that is being replied to.
Members agreed with the suggestion.
Chapter 10 Questions
Mr Ndlozi noted that there had been a tendency by ministers or deputy ministers not to respond to some of the Members’ statements made in the House. To curb this problem, the Committee should suggest that ministers or deputy ministers openly admit when they did not have an answer to a particular question and attempt to make strides to respond to the unanswered question in the next session.
The Chairperson replied that the Committee would need to note the suggestion and see if there was a way it could be integrated into Chapter 10 as this was indeed an important component of accountability.
Mr Steenhuisen highlighted that it was important to create the space for a vibrant parliament and parliaments around the world allowed Members from time to time to ask unscripted questions when there is an exchange with ministers and the president. It was not helpful that ministers or the President just came to the House with pre-prepared scripts that had been prepared by someone in the department or presidency. He noted that this is already done in the Western Cape Provincial Legislature where the Premier takes questions without notice from Members of the Assembly.
Mr Mdakane replied that the decision that had been taken by the Subcommittee about unscripted questions to the ministers or the President was that it must be referred to the Rules Committee on the way forward. There was no objection to the suggestion by the DA that ministers, deputy ministers and the President respond to unscripted questions.
The Chairperson said that the Committee still needed more time to debate and deliberate on the matter; therefore no decision was being taken at the moment.
Mr Ndlozi suggested that the proposal made by Mr Steenhuisen should be done in writing in order to see how this could be integrated into Chapter 10.
Members agreed with the suggestion.
Questions to President
Mr Steenhuisen indicated that it was best not to stipulate the time limit for the President to respond to the questions asked by Members so as to prevent the situation where the President could filibuster in order to avoid some of the controversial questions.
Ms D Dlakude (ANC) maintained that the time limit of three hours for the President to respond to all the questions was the proposal the Committee needed to stick with.
Question to ministers
Mr Steenhuisen asked for if it was not possible to propose recourse for ministers sending deputy ministers to respond to Members’ statements as this was the worst form of unaccountability.
Mr Ndlozi proposed that the Committee should stipulate that ministers are not allowed to miss a particular number of sessions in the House. The Minister of Basic Education had been missing a number of sessions without any recourse. Parliament must be seen by the Executive Members as an important aspect of their schedule and it was impossible to say international business was more important than accounting to the House. The concrete proposal of the EFF was that ministers should not be allowed to miss more than one session of Question and Replies.
Mr Mdakane replied that it was not that the ministers had avoided appearing in the House but it happened that ministers would be overseas to engage on other urgent matters. It was important for Members to have a common understanding that the deputy president would answer questions once a month during session time. This was to avoid a situation where the deputy president would be accused by the media of running away from accounting to the House.
Mr Hahndiek replied that Rule 107B provided for the monitoring system of replies to Members’ questions and this is where there could be an engagement on the absence of a particular minister from Question and Replies.
Ms Kubayi objected to the EFF proposal that the Rules Committee prescribe that ministers are not allowed to miss more than one session of the Question and Replies as there are cases where ministers are required to attend important international meetings. Parliament was operating in the global context and therefore ministers were allowed to attend international meetings which could inform our policies, such as was the case on the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) deadline.
Mr B Radebe (ANC) agreed that the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation could be disadvantaged by the Rules being prescriptive about ministers not being allowed to miss more than one session of Questions and Replies as most of her work involved being outside the country. It was important to ensure that the deputy ministers are able to account when ministers were outside the country.
Members agreed with the clarification.
Chapter 11 Messages
Nothing has been changed in this chapter.
Chapter 12 Committee System
Mr Waters complained that the Rules Committee was retaining Rule 134 where there is a co-option in cases where both Members and alternatives are not available. It was disappointing to note that there had been cases where Members who are not even part of a particular committee would be called in merely to vote on a bill they did not know anything about. This was demeaning Parliament.
Ms Didiza replied that there are smaller parties who may not be able to attend all the meetings and therefore they may prioritise other meetings where there are pressing matters.
Mr Hahndiek corrected Mr Waters’ statement saying that the Subcommittee had proposed a deletion of Rule 134 and it was up to the Committee to decide on the matter.
Mr Mdakane added that despite the previous proposal to delete Rule 134, there was also cognisance of the fact that it may be difficult for committees to operate if co-option was to be deleted.
Mr Steenhuisen made it clear that the DA was opposed to the suggestion to retain Rule 134 and requested that co-option should not be allowed for voting on bills.
Mr Matiase maintained that Rule 134 should be deleted as it was important for critical thinking to prevail in any circumstances in the operation of Parliament. The co-option of Members did not make sense as it allowed the situation where Members could vote on a bill they were clueless about.
Ms Dlakude said that Rule 134 should be retained as all political parties in Parliament had caucuses where they could discuss bills that are currently being dealt with.
Mr V Smith (ANC) said that the argument that one could not vote on the bill because one had not participated in the deliberations did not hold ground as any Bill discussed and concluded in committees would eventually have to go to the House where there are 400 MPs who vote on the Bill.
Mr Frolick added that the co-option was merely intended to ensure that there was a quorum to continue and conclude the work of the committees. Whatever the proposal made by any committee would eventually have to be taken to the House, as already indicated. The other purpose of Rule 134 was to ensure that Members are not restricted from participating in areas beyond their responsibility in Parliament.
Mr Ndlozi clarified that there was no issue with the co-option of Members who had already been briefed about the content of a particular bill and who were ready to participate in the deliberations. However, he only objected to the co-option of Members who were allowed to vote on particular bill despite not knowing its contents nor having participated in the deliberations. The vibrancy of Parliament was about discussing and debating critical issues where everyone is ready to engage and this could only be achieved in the committees and not on the scale of 400 MPs in the House.
Mr Smith indicated that the removal of Rule 134 could deprive even the EFF as it was a minority party and therefore could not participate in all committees.
Mr Mdakane suggested that the Committee should retain Rule 134 while noting the EFF and DA objections.
Members agreed with the suggestion.
Composition of the Rules Committee
Mr Mdakane mentioned that the proposal made by the Subcommittee was that the composition of the Rules Committee was too large and needed to be reduced from 50 Members to 10 ANC Members and 7 Members from the opposition and then the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker.
Mr Ndlozi objected to this proposal as the Rules Committee was the most powerful Committee in Parliament that dealt with critical issues such as finance, administration and budget of Parliament and therefore needed the “strongest force”.
The Chairperson said that the majority of Members supported the proposal to reduce the number of Members in the Rules Committee to 17 Members including the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker.
Members agreed with the suggestion.
Chairing of the opposition parties
Mr Ndlozi asked if the Committee had put in some thought on the suggestion made by the EFF that members of opposition parties should be allowed to chair some of the committees as this was part and parcel of the multiparty democracy as enshrined in the Constitution.
Mr Mdakane replied that the Committee had kindly advised the EFF leadership to canvas the political parties and governing party leadership to engage on the matter as this was not the terrain of the Rules Committee.
Mr Matiase clarified that the EFF proposal that members of the opposition parties should be allowed to chair some of the committees was not intended to govern by default.
Powers and Privilege Committee
Mr Ndlozi indicated that the EFF was aware that there had been proposal to remove the disciplinary functions of the Committee so that its mandate will be limited to considering charges of contempt in terms of the Powers and Privileges of Parliament Act. The former Disciplinary Committee could then be revived to deal with purely disciplinary matters. However, the EFF was strongly opposed to the proposed location of the Disciplinary Committee as meant it would operate at the discretion of the ruling party. The Constitution was clear that MPs could not be prosecuted for statements made in the House as there is absolute freedom of speech in that sense. The EFF was in agreement that any Member found to have committed a gross violation of Rules of Parliament should be punished. However, there is also awareness that this punishment should not be meant to suppress the freedom of speech. The proposal was that the person chairing the Disciplinary Committee should not be from within the ruling party and Parliament should rather appoint either a retired Judge or senior counsel who would not be influenced by partisan interests or political affiliation.
Ms Didiza replied that the Disciplinary Committee did not take away the function of the Powers and Privilege Committee which would deal with gross violations and misconduct. The Disciplinary Committee was a mechanism that was proposed to deal with daily misconduct committed in the House and to recommend a sanction to be imposed and this allowed the Member concerned to be able to plead and argue his/her case.
Mr Waters suggested that harsh action should be taken against Members violating the Rules of Parliament like using a swear word or making an obscene gesture, instead of merely being asked to withdraw it.
Mr Mdakane maintained that the majority of Members supported the establishment of the Disciplinary Committee as this was an important tool to deal with daily misconduct in the House.
Ms Mazzone also supported the establishment of the Disciplinary Committee and added that this should not be conflated with the Powers and Privileges Committee. The “bone of contention” could be on the bias in terms of who would be chairing the Committee and this was a matter that still needed to be looked at.
The Chairperson said that there was agreement in principle for the establishment of the Disciplinary Committee. The Rules Committee had still to discuss and fine-tune other small matters on the operation of the Disciplinary Committee.
Members agreed with the Chairperson.
Nothing has been changed.
Nothing has been changed.
Nothing has been changed.
The Chairperson suggested that Members needed to focus on matters where there would be a need to take a final position.
Chapter 4 Sequence of proceedings
Mr Steenhuisen indicated that the DA believed that the current sequence of proceedings should be retained as they are.
Ms Dlakade said that the ANC believed that motions without notice should come at the end of the House proceedings as this was not the business of the House.
The Chairperson suggested that it would be the best for the Committee to vote on the matter as there were opposing views.
A vote was held.
The ANC voted for the changed sequence of proceedings where the motions without notice would come at the end of the House proceedings, while DA, EFF and IFP objected to the proposal.
The Chairperson stated that the decision taken by the ANC would be construed as the voice of the majority while noting the opposing view.
Nothing has been changed.
Bowing to the Chairperson
Mr Ndlozi stated that the EFF supported that Members needed to rise when the Speaker or the presiding officer is entering the House. However, the party was opposed to Rule 45(3)(c) where Members are required to bow or nod to the Speaker when entering or leaving the House.
The Chairperson suggested that perhaps it was best to leave bowing to the Speaker as optional for Members as there was nothing to be uptight about on this matter.
Members agreed with the suggestion.
Mr Ndlozi said that the formulation of Rule 45(3)(f) was proper and needed to be supported as it highlighted the importance of Members dressing in accordance with their personal taste.
Mr Mdakane indicated that the existing formulation of Rule 45(3)(f) allowed the status quo where Members could dress in accordance with their personal taste and there was a need to ensure that there was a proper and standard way of dressing in the House. The Committee would still need to come up with the guidelines of the dress code that could be construed as befitting the House.
Mr Matiase added that the EFF was in support of the current formulation of Rule 45(3)(f). Any change to be proposed now could be seen as malicious and an undemocratic practice by the ruling party.
The Chairperson proposed that it would be the best to suspend the debate at the moment until the Committee had come up with guidelines for a dress code considered as befitting the House.
Naming or suspension of Member
Mr Mdakane commented that the Committee had already stated that it was superfluous to name and shame a particular Member who had been suspended and therefore Rule 52 should be deleted.
Mr Ndlozi interjected and said that the proposal made by Mr Mdakane was new and had not been discussed in the Committee.
The Chairperson proposed that perhaps the Committee should be given some time to put some thoughts together on the matter.
Members agreed with the proposal.
The Chairperson said that Members now needed to pick up issues where there was concurrence and where there were objections.
Mr Ndlozi stated that the Committee should note the objection of the EFF to the proposed composition of the Disciplinary Committee.
The Chairperson reminded Members that the Committee had not taken the final decision on how the Disciplinary Committee would be configured and therefore it was unadvisable to object to the matter as yet.
Removal of Member from Chamber
Ms Dlakude mentioned that the ANC wanted the current Rule 53A to be retained as is.
Mr Steenhuisen said that the DA was vehemently opposed to the manner in which the removal of Members from the Chamber was taking place as there was no oversight to the parliamentary protection services. It must be stated that the multiparty aspects allowed credibility and this assisted in dispelling the notion that the ANC was “ganging up” on other political parties.
Mr Ndlozi also objected to Rule 53A.
The Chairperson asked for the final position that would be taken in the sanctioning of a minister that had missed a Question and Reply session in the House.
Mr Ndlozi reiterated that the concrete proposal of the EFF was that ministers should not be allowed to miss more than one Question and Reply session.
The Chairperson said that this proposal had already been rejected by the ruling party and therefore the objection would only be noted.
The Chairperson requested Members to adopt the Rules in principle.
The Rules were adopted in principle with objection from the EFF.
The meeting was adjourned.
Mbete, Ms B
Bhengu, Mr F
Booi, Mr MS
Didiza, Ms AT
Dlakude, Ms DE
Koornhof, Dr GW
Kubayi, Ms M
Lotriet, Prof A
Martins, Mr BA
Masondo, Mr NA
Mazzone, Ms NW
Mdakane, Mr MR
Memela, Ms TC
Mokoto, Ms N
Mothapo, Ms MR
Ndlozi, Dr MQ
Radebe, Mr BA
September, Ms CC
Smith, Mr VG
Steenhuisen, Mr JH
Waters, Mr M
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