UDM leader Bantu Holomisa wanted smaller parties to be given voting rights in the process to remove Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in the ad hoc committee
THE ANC and the DA have objected to a proposal by the UDM to have a weighted vote on the removal of the public protector.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa had written to Speaker Thandi Modise a few months ago asking that smaller parties be given voting rights in the process to remove Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in the ad hoc committee.
The ad hoc committee was established after the National Assembly passed a resolution on the process to remove the public protector.
During the meeting of the rules committee on Wednesday, the ANC and DA said they would not agree to smaller parties being given voting rights as this was not in line with the current rules.
Smaller parties have to choose two parties to represent them when the voting takes place in the ad hoc committee.
ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina said all parties had agreed to the rules of the National Assembly after the elections in 2019.
“The rules of the National Assembly do not provide for a weighted system, and therefore, there is nothing to be different from this committee compared to other committees we have established. As the ANC, we are standing firm at the moment to say let’s continue with the 11 members as per our rules,” said Majodina.
DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone said the votes of parties were reflected in the Parliamentary representation system.
She said they did not agree that smaller parties must have voting rights in the ad hoc committee.
She said as part of the multi-party democracy, smaller parties have been allocated time to speak in the Chamber.
“We all need to understand that this committee is groundbreaking and is the first of its kind and that is why the rules committee drafted the rules to establish a committee that could begin an impeachment process. That in itself carries its own challenges.
“Here is the crux of the matter deputy speaker. Yes, if all parties were given the same voting rights there will be no reason for the governing party and an official opposition. All parties would have the same voice that they will be able to be heard in Parliament.
“And that is why parties such as the DA and the ANC actually have given up so much of our speaking time to ensure that multiparty democracy is adhered to,” said Mazzone.
She added that they would not allow smaller parties to have the weighted vote.
Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli said the matter would now be referred to the Speaker for her decision.
This was after the Speaker had referred the request of the UDM to the rules committee to discuss.
– Political Bureau