DA question KZN Legislature ban on Blackberries

George Mari, MPP

DA KZN Spokesperson on Human Settlements


The DA in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature strongly condemns a Ruling by Deputy Speaker, Mtholepi Mtimkhulu earlier today, which saw DA MPP, George Mari, barred from reading a motion to the House from his Blackberry.

The Deputy Speaker interrupted a DA motion calling for the Cornubia housing allocation policy to be expedited to prevent further protest action by Kennedy Road informal settlement dwellers.  These residents are living under appalling conditions despite numerous promises of housing by eThekwini officials.

After being cut short, I drew the Deputy Speaker’s attention to the fact that I was using the technology given to me by the Legislature and that my Blackberry had the same functions as an Ipad, a Tablets and a laptop – all items provided for and used by Members while in the House.  DA KZN Legislature Leader, Sizwe Mchunu and Caucus Chief Whip, Radley Keys also drew the Deputy Speaker’s attention to a Rule which clearly states that electronic equipment can be used as long as it does not disturb proceedings.

The Deputy Speaker refused to accept this.

Many Members of the KZN Legislature read their speeches from Ipads, Tablets and laptops.  Yet it appears that there is now a different set of rules for the DA.

The DA disputes the Deputy Speaker’s pronouncement and views his actions as a pitiful attempt to suppress a DA motion.  We strongly condemn his arrogant and dismissive attitude and call on KZN Speaker, Peggy Nkonyeni to ensure that the Rules of the House are applied consistently.

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