MPs out of order: parliament oversight committee fails to take action

23 December 2018 - 00:00 By THABO MOKONE
DA leader Mmusi Maimane is one of the culprits that the powers and privileges committee has failed to act against.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane is one of the culprits that the powers and privileges committee has failed to act against.
Image: SIPHIWE SIBEKO / REUTERS

MPs behaving badly have faced no consequence for their ill-discipline as the committee tasked with sanctioning them has failed to take action against lawmakers in the past  four years.

This is according to the year-end report of parliament’s powers and privileges committee, to which Speaker Baleka Mbete refers cases of MPs who use foul language, violence and refuse to obey her rulings during sittings of the National Assembly.

Between October 2014 and June 2018, Mbete referred 11 cases of bad behaviour to the powers and privileges committee, which has thus far failed to take action against almost all the MPs whose cases have been referred to it.

The cases involve prominent MPs including, among others, DA leader Mmusi Maimane, EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu, ANC backbenchers Peace Mabe and maverick MP Mervyn Dirks, and former state security minister David Mahlobo.

In its report, the committee said it had been hamstrung by court cases instituted to challenge the constitutionality of the Powers, Privileges and Immunities Act, following which section 11 of the act was declared invalid by the Constitutional Court.

There is also a related pending matter in the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Read the full story in the Sunday Times.


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