DA takes tough stance on axing of Oral Questions in EC Legislature

The DA caucus in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature at the institution’s sitting in Port St Johns. Fltr: Marshall von Buchenroder, Sanele Magaqa, Veliswa Mvenya, Jane Cowley, Bobby Stevenson, Edmund van Vuuren, Vicky Knoetze, Nosimo Balindlela, Celeste Barker and Kobus Botha.

The Democratic Alliance took a principled stance today and withdrew from further attendance of this week’s Taking Legislature to the People in Port St Johns. We cannot allow the rules of the legislature to be flouted and do not want to be party to non-compliance.

It unacceptable that questions for oral reply on Wednesdays when the House is sitting has been deemed unnecessary and frivolous by the ANC government and the Presiding Officers, particularly when taking the Legislature to the people.

The DA is standing up for accountability in a province where the ANC is failing so dramatically.

Rule 186 (1) of the Standing Rules of the Legislature states clearly, without any ambiguity, that questions for oral reply are taken as a first order on a Wednesday when the House is in sitting.

Parliamentary questions are the hallmark of democracy in holding the government to account. In not answering questions for oral reply in the presence of a diverse group of attendees is tantamount of shying away from accountability and covering up for corruption and maladministration.

The DA wrote to the Speaker, Noxolo Kiviet, prior to this week’s sitting to reconsider the Legislature’s position in flouting Rule 186 (1).   We received an acknowledgement of our correspondence but no clear reason as to why Rule 186 (1) was contravened and what interventions were to be considered in order to comply.  For my letter, click here:  Letter RE Oral Questions at TLTTP – 20 September 2017 — Edmund van Vuuren MPL, Chief Whip