Sizwe Mchunu, MPP
Leader of the Democratic Alliance in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature
The full Democratic Alliance caucus in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature walked out of day two of a parliamentary sitting in Wentworth earlier today following racist attacks bordering on inciting political intolerance by ANC members of the provincial parliament.
The DA’s departure was followed closely by that of the IFP.
The sitting, which is being held in Wentworth as part of the legislature’s Taking Parliament to the People (TLTP), was turned into a circus yesterday after comments bordering on hate speech were hurled at the DA by ANC members. The insults were delivered as motions in the House.
DA KZN Chief Whip, Radley Keys has today written to provincial Speaker, Peggy Nkonyeni to point out the following;
- Under Rule 241 (2) (g) a Member who deliberately and recklessly misleads the House on matters of fact is in contempt of Parliament and, under Rule 241 (2) (k) comments made that are extremely injurious to Members of the House are contempt of the House.
- The motions introduced by Hon. Members Duma, Dlungwane, Beebee and Mlaba on 24 April 2013 were either misleading the house and/or contained comments that I allege are injurious to all Honourable Members of this House and an affront to the integrity and dignity of the House.
- Rule 241 (2) (g) refers to factual inaccuracies. The motions alleged the DA to be co-architects and propagators of apartheid. This is clearly untrue as the predecessor party of the DA, namely the Progressive Federal Party, was in opposition to the National Party that governed South Africa through its apartheid policies. Further, to allege the DA was in power while the National Party governed is factually incorrect and misleading.
The DA has reminded the Speaker that the rules of the legislature enable her to preserve the dignity and integrity of the House by prohibiting Members from making such comments. It has been requested that she instruct these Members to withdraw their misleading and/or injurious comments and has also been requested that they be reprimanded.
The DA is committed to healing society and addressing the imbalances of the past. Yesterday, this was thrown in our faces. It was made worse by the failure of either the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker to condemn the attack by the ANC. This failure to act threatens to undermine all opposition parties in the province.
The DA will not tolerate this. Should the Speaker fail to resolve this matter satisfactorily we reserve our right to approach the Human Rights Commission.