Failure by parliamentary parties to reach agreement

24 November 2014

The Office of the ANC Chief Whip notes that the meeting of parliamentary political parties convened today to discuss the means to restore the decorum of the House and the integrity of Parliament ended without an agreement.

The meeting, which was facilitated by the Leader of Government Business Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, was requested by parties following the collapse of last weak`s crucial deal due to the DA`s tabling of the motion of censure against the President. In terms of the agreement unanimously endorsed by parties, deeply contentious and divisive issues before Parliament - including the DA`s motion and the Powers & Privileges Commiittee report - would be held in abeyance while parties work on restoring the decorum of Parliament. By making a U-turn on its commitment to hold its motion in abeyance, the DA violated the terms of the multiparty agreement and effectively rendered the deal unworkable and meaningless. It acted in bad faith, deceived all parties involved and treated the entire process with contempt.

At today`s meeting, the DA was unrepentant. It reiterated its narrow and self-serving argument that it would not be bound by any extra-parliamentary processes or agreements. Essentially, the DA - which leads the rest of the opposition - closed space for any possible compromise or agreement that would have enabled parties to unite behind a common purpose of salvaging the institution from further degeneration and restoring its integrity. The rest of the smaller parties are unfortunately complicit in the collapse of the deal due to their failure to stand up against the DA`s obstructive conduct in these negotiations.

The failure by parties to reach a consensus today and the DA`s conduct regarding its motion of censure means that all processes before Parliament, including the tabling of the Powers and Privileges Committee report, will go ahead as originally scheduled.

Despite the DA`s obstructive and arrogant conduct in this failed process, the ANC`s door remains open for future engagement with parties. Our commitment to a functional and orderly Parliament remains unshaken, and we will work with those who share this goal.


Moloto Mothapo 082 370 6930