By Sizwe Mchunu, MPL, Leader of the DA in the KZN Legislature:
Today the DA in the KZN Legislature led opposition parties in withdrawing our participation in the House in protest at the unprecedented and blatant abuse of power associated with the entry to the House of KZN ANC Provincial Chairperson, Sihle Zikalala.
South Africans were rightly appalled by Jacob Zuma’s recent statement that the ANC came first before the nation. Today, in the KZN Legislature we had visual proof that the ANC in this province totally subscribes to their leader’s lack of respect for the Constitution.
Contrary to the Rules of the Legislature, the new powers that be in KZN decided that it was appropriate to seat the Honourable Zikalala in the seat reserved for the Premier – at the head of the front bench – with his seat label ‘Leader of the Majority Party’.
This effectively means that the ANC has taken precedence over the head of the government in this province.
There is no provision in the Constitution or the rules of the Legislature for such a designation. The rules provide only for the Premier, the Leader of the Official Opposition and the Chief Whips of the two largest parties.
The DA cannot in good conscience allow this action to go without registering the strongest possible protest. We therefore withdrew our participation and were joined by other opposition parties.
If the ANC has any respect for the Constitution and the position of political parties and the state they will move their newly installed junior MPL to the appropriate seat in the back benches of the House.
The ANC has now been exposed as being quite prepared to trash the separation of party and state and we confidently expect that the citizens of KZN will show their contempt for this action in the 2016 Local Government election.