SA Parties Agree To Restore Dignity Of Parliament

The meeting between South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and opposition parties represented in Parliament has agreed to suspend all current processes with respect to disruptions in the House until further deliberations.

The Deputy President met opposition parties early Tuesday morning at Tuinhys. He says the leaders have agreed to find political solutions collectively to the current situation in parliament.  

Opposition parties represented were the Democratic Alliance (DA), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), United Democratic Movement (UDM), Congress of the People (COPE), African Independent Congress (AIC), African People’s Convention (APC), Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC), African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and the Freedom Front Plus (FFP).

Ramaphosa says they have agreed to put the probes into House disruptions in abeyance so that the committee can finish its work 

The meeting was aimed at ironing out strained relations between the executive and Members of Parliament. Ramaphosa says they have agreed to put the probes into House disruptions in abeyance so that the committee can finish its work. This includes the investigation into the EFF disrupting the House when President Jacob Zuma was answering oral questions.

The 20 EFF members who were charged were all found guilty and the debate on the committee’s report was originally scheduled for Tuesday. Ramaphosa says they are looking for a political solution.

“Are we going to put all other things that happen in the other day in abeyance, yes because we are going to find political solutions collectively as political leaders and watch the space because what we want to do is to restore parliament to its standing.”

Ramaphosa adds that they have agreed to work to restore the dignity, integrity and the standing of Parliament.  He says a committee has also been set up to address the current situation in Parliament. It will be chaired by him and the deputies will be the ANC Chief Whip Stone Sizani and DA Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane.

“Whilst differing on a whole number of issues, policies and approaches, we agreed that we are going to work together to ensure that the rules and procedures of parliament are applied consistently without any favour and prejudice and that they are applied fairly right across the board.”

He has also expressed concern that the live TV feed when riot police entered the House last Thursday evening, was cut. He says this matter will be addressed.

“Clearly it’s an issue of concern, we want everything that happens in important institutions like this to be open to everyone and we will address it in the committee.”

The meeting also agreed to reaffirm the principle of executive accountability and that all members of the executive are to appear before Parliament, as required by rules.