By Jacques Smalle MPL, DA Provincial Leader:
Yesterday, the Democratic Alliance caucus in the Limpopo Legislature had to walk out of the Provincial Legislature during a sitting after the ANC, broke the House rules in a crusade to oust Speaker Merriam Ramadwa.
The ANC bid to remove the speaker Ms Ramadwa was first dealt a blow at the programming committee when all the opposition opposed to their attempt to suspend the rules in order to effect the removal.
Again during the sitting the Deputy Speaker refused the legitimate request by the opposition parties to have the ANC’s notice of a motion to suspend being subjected to a secret vote.
If they were unanimous they would not have been so scared to subject their notice to a secret ballot.
This clearly illustrates that the ANC is faction ridden and this is likely to derail provincial governance.
The standing rules and orders under rule 120 clearly stipulates “once a division has been requested and supported by ten members or more, the bells must be rung and each members vote must be recorded.”
The ANC deputy speaker simply ignored this, broke the rules and wouldn’t recognize the objection – a clear violation of the constitution section 116(2)(b) that requires participation of proceedings of the legislature in a manner consistent with democracy.
The DA acknowledges that the ANC has the prerogative to lobby its members to elect their preferred speaker but that has to be done in accordance with the Legislature rules and the Constitution.
This means that a sitting must be convened to effect the removal of the speaker and that decision cannot be pre-determined at Frans Mohlala house in the hostile manner in which the ANC did yesterday. All of this was overseen by Noks Seabi, who is not a member of the Legislature.
The motion to effect this removal is a substantive motion which means that reasons must be given. The ANC wants to circumvent this because it knows that if it were compelled to give reasons, the rot within will be exposed.
We keenly await the next sitting of the Legislature to see for ourselves if the ANC’s motion adheres to the substantive requirement.