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South Africa

Most political parties on Wednesday voiced support for a recommendation that disruption of National Assembly (NA) sittings cannot be tolerated any further and must be dealt with decisively.

South Africa
South Africa

The matter was discussed at length at a meeting of the NA Rules Committee on Wednesday morning, which considered draft rules and standard operating procedures presented by the Subcommittee on the Review of NA Rules.
All political parties at the meeting, with the exception of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), agreed to the proposals made, Parliament said.
Under the draft rules, Parliament Protection Officers employed to remove Members who disrupt sittings should not be armed when entering the chamber.
The proposal also seeks to strengthen the rules which deal with disruptive conduct in the House, including disobeying the rulings of Presiding Officers.
The NA Rules Committee has affirmed the draft rules and standard operating procedures and referred them back to the Subcommittee to address and finalise technical issues.
Representatives from a number of different political parties emphasised that the intention was not to remove Members of Parliament (MPs) for anything they said during a sitting. Members could, however, be removed for behavior which prevented other MPs from carrying out their responsibilities.
Parliament has been disrupted several times since August last year because EFF MPs heckled President Jacob Zuma over the Nkandla scandal, which refers to the security upgrades of Zuma’s private home in Nkandal, KwaZulu-Natal Province.
EFF MPs wants Zuma to pay back part of the money laverished on the project which allegedly cost public funds worth 246 million rand (about 20 million U.S. dollars).
The latest parliamentary disruption occurred earlier this month when Zuma was appearing in Parliament during a Q&A session.
Following failure to restore order, Zuma left without answering questions.
The opposition accused Zuma of deliberately evading questions in relation to slow economic growth, the unemployment crisis and rampant crime, in addition to the Nkandla scandal.
But the Presidency has rejected the allegations, saying Zuma presented himself for his quarterly oral reply session in the NA but it was regrettable that yet again, some members of the NA made it impossible for the president to respond to questions. Enditem


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