Gauteng Legislature suspends sitting due to proposed debate on SIU Report

Today the GPL was scheduled to debate and adopt the budget votes of the Gauteng Provincial Government Economic Cluster (i.e. Economic Development, Agriculture & Rural Development, Treasury, eGovernment and Department of Infrastructure Development).

The Deputy Speaker of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature Honourable Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko suspended the House Sitting for a short-while due to a request for an urgent debate by Hon Member Dzimba of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on a report of the SIU (on allegations of Corruption against the Chief Whip of the African National Congress (ANC) Honourable Brian Hlongwa).

The House Sitting was suspended for 30 minutes after Hon Deputy Speaker made a ruling rejecting the motion for an urgent debate. The motion was rejected as it was not in line with the Standing Rules of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (rule 124 (3) that the matter does not concern a matter of recent occurrence nor does it require urgent attention by the House.

The other reason was that the matter was referred to the Integrity Commissioner and tabled before the Privileges and Ethics Committee of the GPL, which concluded that they would await the outcome of the criminal processes and other investigations (the matter is subjudice).

The Deputy Speaker further advised that the motion can be referred to the Legislature’s Programming Committee for further deliberations and selection. Furthermore, that the Member should ensure that the motion is properly signed by the proponent and seconded as the motion received was not signed and seconded which is against the Standing Rules of the Legislature, by allowing the debate to proceed might set a wrong precedence in the House.

This led to other members debating the ruling of the Deputy Speaker almost degenerating the House into chaos. The Standing Rules of the Legislature provides that a Ruling by the Presiding Officer is final on a matter and further provides for a review of such rulings at the Rules Committee Meeting.

The Deputy Speaker took a decision to suspend the Sitting to allow for the Whips of parties to meet and discuss the matter. A decision was taken that the motion will be tabled at a Special Programming Committee meeting to be convened urgently and possible be selected for the upcoming House Sittings.

Issued by the Secretary of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature Mr Peter Skosana

Source: Government of South Africa