Desiree van der Walt MPL
DA Limpopo Legislature Caucus Leader
Limpopo legislature Speaker Rudolph Phala today used draconian measures to suppress opposition parties’ rejection of the Limpopo Unauthorised Expenditure Bill.
The Bill is designed to condone government waste of over R1.4 billion over the last three years.
DA and COPE members who have been opposing the Bill will face disciplinary action from the Speaker for a walk-out staged during the first round of voting last week. Phala also denied the DA’s call for a division on the Bill this morning.
It is now put beyond doubt that the ruling party does not care about improving financial management in this province. All they care about is about enriching their cronies.
The Speaker did not give any tangible reason except to say he is punishing the DA and COPE for staging the recent walk-out. His only reason is that the rules of the house give him the discretion to refuse a division on the Bill.
But that cannot be an unfettered discretion. Particularly, when there were six members of the House supporting the call for a division. The speaker’s discretion should be based on valid grounds and not as a way of punishing the opposition for exercising its democratic rights under the Constitution.
The DA is currently seeking a legal opinion on this as it is clearly a violation of the spirit of our constitutional order.