Legislature brought to a halt by ANC party engagement

Bosman Grobler MPL

DA spokesperson on SCOPA:

A sitting of the Mpumalanga legislature committee meeting was brought to a standstill and eventually cancelled on Wednesday just because the ANC, as a party, had another party matter to attend to on the day.

On Wednesday 18 February 2015, the following committees of the Legislature: The Select Committees of Chairpersons, Select Committee on Public Participation, Petitions and Members Proposals, Select Committee on Women Children, Youth and People with disabilities as well as the Select Committee on Public Accounts, were meant to sit in the municipality of Emakhazeni, but the sittings were cancelled at the eleventh hour, to the dismay of other members.

On Tuesday afternoon members received notice that all meetings have been moved back to the legislature. Upon arrival at the Select Committee on Public Participation, Petitions and Members Proposals, members were informed that there will be no meeting, because of the meeting with the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) at Nutting House, a venue outside Nelspruit.

At Nutting House it became apparent that the meeting was a private meeting for ANC MEC’s, members, Mayors, Chief Whips and Speakers from across the province, with the MDB. The Democratic Alliance has two serious concerns about this.

The fact that the legislature as an institution can be brought to a standstill when the ANC has a party matter to attend to, as well as the fact that the ANC can actually hold the legislature to ransom as to when, where and how to conduct its business is a sombre concern.

The second worrying factor is the fact that the MDB, a supposedly independent body, has a private meeting with the ANC, but not with other political parties. This is something that the DA will not leave to die a silent death, but we will pursue the reasons for such biased behaviour.

The separation of party, state and independent bodies is a non-negotiable for our democracy to succeed and the DA will do everything in its power to ensure that this principle is adhered to.