A war of words erupted yesterday between DA provincial leader Athol Trollip and premier Phumulo Masualle in the Bhisho legislature following a ruling by speaker Noxolo Kiviet.
Kiviet ruled that Trollip’s questions to Masualle on spending for Nelsonn Mandela’s funeral and memorials shuold be resubmitte for the next question session where they could be answered.
Earlier this month, Trollip raised a point of order after he found that his questions to Masualle had been changed and the responses provided were inadequate.
After Kiviet’s ruling yesterday, Masualle demanded that Trollip apologise to him for media remarks he made on the changing of the questions.
“I have a family and children. How do you explain when it’s out there that their father is a liar and a cheat?” Masualle asked.
“I feel that I have been treated very unfairly,” Masualle said.
Trollip refused to apologise saying he could only do so when Masualle responded to his questions.
“If he gives satisfactory answers I will then consider an apology,” Trollip said.
Making her ruling, Kiviet called on Trollip to resubmit his questions and for the chief operation officer to ensure the questions were received, edited and agreed upon.
“I also would like to call on members to refrain from asking personal questions,” said Kiviet.
She then lambasted Trollip for going to the media to voice his disappointment on his questions not being answered or edited.
“I note with great disappointment that you (Trollip) use the media in a matter that I still had not made a ruling on,” Kiviet said to the applause of ANC MPLs.
She then reminded all MPLs on their roles and responsibilities as leaders in the legislature.
Kiviet also ruled that Trollip’s actions in making statements to the media be investigated by the legislature’s ethics committee.
Last week, the DA accused the legislature of blocking questions by the party about funding for the funeral of Mandela.
It was the second time in less than a month that the DA’s questions about the millions spent on Mandela’s funeral and memorial services were reportedly gagged by the legislature.
“First my questions were manipulated in order to protect the premier [Masualle]. Now they have been blocked altogether from being answered,” Trollip said.
Last week, ANC chief whip Mzoleli Mrara denied allegations by Trollip that the premier was evading questions around money deposited into Masualle’s bank account at the time of Mandela’s funeral.