Home South African Parliament cancels flights, accommodation for MK Party

Parliament cancels flights, accommodation for MK Party

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Parliament has cancelled all travel and lodging plans for former president Jacob Zuma’s MK Party members following the party’s announcement that it will not be attending the first sitting.

File picture: Armand Hough, Independent Newspapers

PARLIAMENT has cancelled all travel and lodging plans for former president Jacob Zuma’s MK Party members following the party’s announcement that it will not be attending the sworn-in ceremony this week.

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo announced on Monday that the president and Speaker of the National Assembly will be elected on Friday, June 14 in Cape Town at 10am.

In the absence of an interdict by a court, Parliament announced that this week’s sitting will proceed without MK members.

“In light of the MK Party’s expressed decision, through their legal representatives, not to attend the first sitting, Parliament has cancelled all arrangements for accommodation and flights for the party’s elected members.

“This measure is to avoid incurring fruitless and wasteful expenditure, in compliance with the Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act, 2009,” Parliament said in a statement.

This is as Parliament is currently organising flights and accommodation for about 400 Members of Parliament (MPs) who are set to attend the first sitting next week Monday.

The MKP indicated that its 58 elected members, who are expected to occupy seats in the National Assembly, will boycott and not attend the first sitting.

The MKP is arguing that the National Assembly’s first session should not have been scheduled because it is unconstitutional.

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo formally delivered the lists of nominated candidates to the secretary to Parliament on Thursday last week.

Parliament said it does not agree with MK Party’s interpretation of Section 46 of the Constitution.

The National Assembly said it was of the view that it was legally bound to facilitate its first sitting as well as the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) at a date and time determined by the Chief Justice, and there are no legal impediments preventing this process.

According to section 49 (3) of the Constitution, unless and until the results of the election are set aside by a court, Parliament must ensure that the sittings proceed as directed.

“Because the first sittings of the NA and the NCOP will take place physically, the Parliamentary Administration is in the process of making arrangements to provide travel and accommodation for all members listed by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), as handed over by the Chief Justice, to attend these sittings and the associated on-boarding activities scheduled in Cape Town,” the statement read.

Parliament reaffirmed its commitment to carrying out its responsibilities under the Constitution in the scheduling of the first sittings of the National Assembly and the NCOP.

“We remain dedicated to ensuring that the established democratic processes and procedures are upheld in accordance with the laws and Constitution of our country,” it said.

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