ANC continues to undermine Free State Legislature

By Roy Jankielsohn, Leader of the Official Opposition in the Free State Provincial Legislature:

The below member statement was delivered by the Leader of the Official Opposition, Roy Jankielsohn (MPL), during a sitting of the Free State Provincial Legislature today.

It is with concern that the DA notes the blatant disregard for the Legislature shown by the Members of the Executive Council under the Premiership of Honourable Ace Magashule.

The following examples are relevant in this regard:

  • There is a tendency by MECs not to attend meetings of Portfolio Committees when their Departments are under scrutiny.
  • Last week during the NCOP Provincial Week, not a single MEC attended any of the briefings or any of the site visits with MPs and MPLs.
  • The failure by MECs to answer questions within time frames as stipulated in the Rules and Orders of the Free State Legislature or to attend sittings to answer questions for oral reply is contemptuous of this constitutional and democratic institution.
  • The unwillingness of the Premier to investigate irregularities and institute criminal charges as requested by the National Minister of Finance into allegations of corruption during meetings with him, and then to deny knowledge of reports in this regard during questions in this regard in this House is a breach of the Code of Conduct of Members and his Oath of Office.

This blatant contempt for our Constitution and Legislature as the seat of our democracy in the Free State continues with the support of ANC Committee Chairpersons and Presiding Officers. This unwillingness to hold the executive to account grossly undermines section 114 (2) of the Constitution which states:

“A provincial legislature must provide for mechanisms to ensure that all provincial executives’ organs of state in the province are accountable to it; and to maintain oversight of –

  • The exercise of provincial executive authority in the province, including the implementation of legislation; and
  • Any provincial organ of state.”

It is clear that the ANC in this legislature cares as much for our democracy as a polecat does for a rat.