DA parliamentary caucus leader Annelie Lotriet has called for a review of the Section 25 Ad Hoc committee’s oral submission process.
This comes after the committee invited oral submissions from organisations and individuals that had previously indicated in their written submissions their intention to make oral presentations in March.
The purpose of the oral submissions was to obtain public input on the bill.
“The EFF’s rowdy behaviour during oral submissions and the failure by the chairperson, Dr Mathole Motshekga, to act may have potentially violated the Constitution and parliamentary rules on public participation. As such, the rules committee should make a determination of whether the oral submission process can be viewed as procedurally fair.
“On March 25 this year, the DA wrote to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise, objecting to the failure by the chairperson of the committee, Dr Mathole Motshekga, to protect the integrity and procedural fairness of the oral submission process from the disruptive actions of other members on the committee,” Lotriet said.
“Speaker Modise’s silence and failure to respond to our submissions has left us with no choice but to approach the National Assembly rules committee for a review of the Section 25 Ad hoc Committee’s oral submission process.”
According to Lotriet, the EFF members made racist remarks during the oral submissions.
“Instead of giving these civil society representatives an opportunity to freely express their views on the bill, Motshekga allowed members from the EFF to heckle and hurl expletives at them … Objections by DA members to the EFF’s uncouth language and abuse of Mr Roets were dismissed by the chairperson as irrelevant.”
Lotriet has further stated that the process violated section 4.1.5 of Parliament’s Code of Ethical Conduct which enjoins all members to maintain public confidence and trust in the integrity of Parliament.
“Dr Motshekga’s conduct did not inspire confidence in the integrity of Parliament or its place in society as a representative institution.
“By allowing heckling and the use of derogatory language against participants to a duly constituted parliamentary committee, Dr Motshekga may have violated the participant’s right to a fair hearing,” she said.