The Democratic Alliance (DA) wishes to dismiss a Sunday Times report that states that Natasha Mazzone was appointed as one of two Deputy Chairpersons of Federal Council (FedCo). Ms Mazzone was elected by the Federal Council, the Party’s highest decision-making body.
Confusion around this matter may arise from only one Deputy Chairperson being announced by the Federal Congress.
The facts are as follows:
During the Federal Congress which took place on 7 & 8 April 2018 Congress resolved to amend section 126.96.36.199 of the Federal Constitution to the effect that two members would serve as Deputy Chairpersons of the FedCo. In terms of another section of the Federal Constitution these office bears must be elected during the Federal Congress.
FedCo on 6 April 2018 resolved that voting in this election would take place on Sunday 8 April 2018, subject to the approval by Congress of the creation of two Deputy Chairpersons. This meant that two Deputy Chairpersons of FedCo would be elected if Congress adopted that amendment to the Federal Constitution.
In order to seek clarity, the matter was taken to the Federal Legal Commission (FLC), a party structure of the Party with the power and authority to inter alia interpret the Federal Constitution, and decide on the legality or otherwise of any meeting, action, election or resolution by any Party structure. FLC resolved that “the position of a second Deputy Chairperson of the Federal Council is to be filled by way of the result of the vote that took place on 8 April 2018 during Federal Congress.”
It is important to note that the purported decision to task FedCo with the election of a second Deputy Chairperson at its next meeting was at no stage framed as an enabling amendment of section 188.8.131.52 in as far as it determines that the Deputy Chairperson “must” be elected during the meeting of Congress.