Free State Deputy Speaker undermines his constitutional role of office

George Michalakis, MP

DA member in the National Council of Provinces for the Free State

The ANC in the Free State Provincial Legislature and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) has again blatantly undermined the Constitution and democracy when the NCOP Oversight-week Report was tabled this morning.

DA members were prevented by the deputy speaker, Sizwe Mbalo, from making a counter proposal that the report not be adopted. Our objection was based on the fact that proper oversight was not conducted at Pelonomi Regional Hospital.

The DA furthermore objected to the manner in which the deputy speaker handled a meeting at the Dihlabeng Local Municipality in Bethlehem by preventing municipal officials from answering questions asked by Roy Jankielsohn, the Leader of the Official Opposition in the Legislature, on the municipality’s performance.

These questions included:

  • R52 000.00 spent on gambling machines;
  • More than R1 million spent on the launch event of the Paul Roux Stadium; and,
  • Abuse of municipal resources during this year’s election campaign.

The deputy speaker is unable to conduct fair and transparent meetings in line with our constitutional values, as required of him through the Oath of Office he took when he assumed this position.

Furthermore, based on the fact that the report is not a true reflection of what transpired during the NCOP’s oversight, the entire process has been reduced to an exercise of window dressing to hide an ineffective provincial government. This makes what should have been a democratic mechanism to ensure improved service delivery to the people, nothing more than a fruitless and wasteful exercise of ANC propaganda, paid for by tax payers money.

The DA in the NCOP will also do everything in its power to challenge the report when it is expected to be tabled in Parliament next week.

We cannot allow the ANC to further undermine our Constitution at the expense of citizens.