Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Statement read in Parliament yesterday by Speaker Baleka Mbethe

The Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbethe read out the following statement in the House of Assembly yesterday.

It was her attempt to show the institution of Parliament was responding to the events of Thursday. The actions of the committee she refers to will determine whether it is another ANC whitewash or will take its mandate seriously.

The DA will continue its protests until a) Mbethe resigns and b) President Zuma comes to the House of Assembly to answer questions.

2014/11/19 08:59:46 AM 

Statement by Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon Baleka Mbete

Hon Members, one of the main constitutional functions of the National Assembly is that it provides a national forum for the public consideration of issues. The House is currently made up of 13 different parties and it follows therefore that the engagement and debate will be vigorous, robust and even tough at times, particularly when Members differ on matters that are significant to them.
The Constitution determines that Members have freedom of speech in the Assembly and its committees, subject only to the Constitution and the rules and orders that the House imposes on itself. Any limitations that you as the House have placed on your jealously guarded freedom of speech is there for the sole purpose of preventing the House from being impeded in, or prevented from, going about the important business it has in the interests of all the people of this country.
What transpired in the House on Thursday, 13 November 2014, is not something that we are proud of, and we should all do our utmost to prevent any possibility of its recurrence.
Hon Members, the Leader of Government Business, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, has briefed the Presiding Officers on the meeting he had with the leaders of political parties earlier today about matters that affect Parliament.
Following that meeting, a committee consisting of the Leader of Government Business and leaders of parties represented in Parliament has been established to lead a political process to address our current engagement in Parliament.
One of the agreements reached is that the processes in respect of earlier disruptions in the House will be held in abeyance until the committee has completed its work. That also includes outstanding rulings.
I wish to express my appreciation for the steps that are being taken to attend to these important matters. This institution is critical and we need to work together to ensure that it contributes fully to deepening and strengthening our democracy.

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