The DA is deeply concerned by Parliament’s latest move to shift all Committee meetings planned for tomorrow, 14 February 2018, to later in the afternoon. What is now eminently clear is that the ANC’s internal wrangling around their leadership crisis is affecting the business of Parliament.
It has been widely reported that the ANC has called a special meeting of its parliamentary caucus tomorrow morning. This is evidently the motivation for why Parliament’s House Chairperson, Cedric Frolick, has now rescheduled all of Parliament’s committee meetings. This is simply unacceptable and amounts to nothing less than a conflation of party and state and the gross abuse of Parliament in the interests of a single party.
Parliament has already been forced to reschedule its plenary sessions in light of the ANC’s leadership crisis, which has also led to the postponement of the State of the Nation Address. It must be emphasized that Parliament remains a constitutionally independent branch of government, accountable to the people of South Africa.
This latest move is the clearest indication yet that it is not just Zuma holding South Africa hostage, but the entire ANC, led by Cyril Ramaphosa who cannot resolve this crisis of governance. South Africa simply cannot continue to be held hostage – plenary sessions and committees of Parliament must be allowed to proceed as scheduled.
Most importantly, despite reassurances by Parliament’s Presiding Officers, the DA reiterates its call that the annual Budget address must proceed as scheduled. The gross abuse of Parliament’s processes in favour of the ANC compels us to consistently maintain that we will not tolerate any last-minute attempts to stifle what is arguably the most important budget address in South Africa’s democratic history.