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Flight, accommodation bookings will be made for MK Party MPs if they resolve to attend Friday’s sitting – Parly

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The MK party has approached the Constitutional Court, seeking an interdict against the much-anticipated first sitting of the National Assembly on Friday.

Cancelling the flights of MK Party members was only a precautionary measure to avoid fruitless expenditure ahead of the swearing-in ceremony in Parliament on Friday. File picture: Timothy Bernard, Independent Newspapers

THE NATIONAL Assembly said the cancellation of all flights and accommodation reservations for former president Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party members – following the party’s announcement that it will not be attending the swearing-in ceremony on Friday – was a precautionary measure to prevent fruitless expenditure.

It was reported on Monday that Chief Justice Raymond Zondo announced that the president and Speaker of the National Assembly will be elected on Friday, June 14 in Cape Town.

The MK Party has approached the Constitutional Court, seeking an interdict against the much-anticipated sitting of the National Assembly for the swearing-in ceremony following the general elections.

The opposition party seeks to interdict Zondo from presiding over the first sitting of the National Assembly, which will elect functionaries including the president and Speaker of Parliament.

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. File picture: Nhlanhla Phillips, Independent Media

Speaking to broadcaster Newzroom Afrika, the spokesperson for the National Assembly, Moloto Mothapo, said that if the MK Party’s stance changes, then arrangements would be made for the 58 incoming parliamentarians to fly to Cape Town.

“I think it is a precautionary step to say we are in the process of ensuring that the 400 designated, elected members who are supposed to be sworn-in on Friday make it to Cape Town from various provinces of South Africa,” he said.

“When we received the letter from the lawyers of the MK Party saying their members, all of them that are reflecting on the list will not be able to make it for the first sitting, administratively we had to look at that decision that they have taken to say do we proceed with bookings for accommodation and flights?

“We then decided that it would be prudent, in the interest of ensuring that we do not suffer what the AG (auditor-general) will call fruitless expenditure, to hold that process of booking for the members of MK until such time that there is clarity as to what is their final decision,” Mothapo told the broadcaster.

“We understand and we are in communication with the members of the MK Party, as we do with all the 400 members that are designated on the list, with regards to the logistics we are working on.

“We understand that they are saying the matter is before the court and they will not be able to make their way to Cape Town until the matter is finalised,” Mothapo added.

“We are in continuous communication with them and should the situation change before Friday, we will definitely make sure that we reserve the accommodation as well the flights for them. So it is just a precautionary measure and an administrative process.”

Supporters of the uMkhonto weSizwe political party. File picture

Last week, the MK Party, through its national spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela, said it will not attend Parliament until such time as all of its objections against the elections have been resolved by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).

On Monday, it was reported that Ndhlela said the party’s legal representatives issued a final demand to the Chief Justice and secretary to Parliament and other officials tasked with arranging the sitting, and the party would not to take part in these activities until their demands are attended to.

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