Parliamentary multiparty deal is off

20 November 2014

The Office of the ANC Chief Whip reiterates its disappointment with the DA`s U-turn on the agreement reached by parliamentary parties during Tuesday`s meeting with the Leader of Government Business, Deputy President Ramaphosa. The meeting agreed that deeply contentious and polarising issues on the agenda of the House, which were discussed in detail in the meeting, should be held in abeyance.

These issues included the powers and privileges committee report and the DA`s motion of censure against the President. Holding these issues in abeyance would have afforded a process agreed by all parties a chance to resolve contentious issues that have contributed to the hostility and tension recently witnessed in Parliament. Despite agreeing to hold its motion in abeyance on Tuesday, the DA yesterday made an about-turn and reinstated it on the order paper.

As we have stressed, the DA`s conduct clearly illustrates that it cannot be trusted as a reliable negotiating partner, and its action serves only to fuel mistrust, hostility and tension in Parliament. Its destructive and hostile attitude towards multiparty engagement in Parliament renders the deal by all parties worthless. The ANC will continue engaging smaller parties who share our desire to restore order and preserve the integrity of Parliament. However, we will not be engaging in any interparty engagement with the official opposition in future. In light of this clear contempt for this crucial multiparty consensus, we are doubtful even the Leader of Government Business will find the Leader of the Opposition worthy of engagement in future. In our view, it would be fruitless and meaningless to engage with a `leader` whose leadership is neither recognised nor respected by his caucus.

With the deal now having collapsed, the ANC has moved for the reinstatement of the Powers and Privileges report on today`s agenda of the National Assembly for its consideration.

The DA and Mmusi Maimane must shoulder responsibility for the collapse of this consensus, which South Africans of diverse political persuasions hailed as a step in the right direction towards restoring Parliament`s integrity and saving it from further degeneration.

We will continue engaging smaller parties in our endeavour to restore orderliness in Parliament and preserve its prestige.

ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF THE ANC CHIEF WHIP

Enquiries:
Moloto Mothapo 082 370 6930