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Fri Dec 19 13:42:52 SAST 2014

MPs to get good behaviour lessons

DENISE WILLIAMS | 06 February, 2013 00:19
National Assembly deputy speaker Nomaindia Mfeketo

National Assembly deputy speaker Nomaindia Mfeketo has warned MPs that unruly behaviour and unexplained absences from sittings will not be tolerated this year.

Opening a week-long "refresher" workshop on the rules and procedures that MPs are expected to adhere to, Mfeketo said there had to be consequences for lawmakers who failed to show up for sessions of the National Assembly.

"Over time, circumstances warrant that there must be consequences for members who break the rules of parliament through their non-attendance," she said.

But Mfeketo did not say what action would be taken against errant MPs.

Speaker Max Sisulu also criticised such behaviour.

Last year, he told parliament's rules committee to draft a policy on absconding parliamentarians. The draft policy is expected to be made public this year.

Mfeketo said yesterday it was important to convene workshops on rules and procedures because MPs were seemingly not aware of the rules and procedures to follow in settling internal disputes.

With political parties preparing for next year's general elections, Mfeketo said she expected debate to heat up during this year's sessions.

"More than at any other time, this year will experience more political posturing from all parties ... Let us do that in line with the dignity accorded to this house and stay true to the notion of being honourable members," she said.

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