This is the reaction of ANC Chief Whip Jacskon Mthembu, who ashamedly agreed his colleagues, as majority, did not attend the sittings.
This means, since the Bill will have to be rescheduled, no MP, including members of the executive, would be granted leave of absence.
The absence of MPs failing to attend sittings also meant failure to pass the Division of Revenue Bill that will also impact on the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), as its programme will have to be extended by at least a week – resulting in unnecessary additional expenditure for the institution.
As such, the Caucus Disciplinary Committee (CDC), chaired by Advocate Mathole Motshekga, and constituted by five members, will initiate disciplinary hearings against the delinquent members soon.
“When parliamentarians dither on such critical decisions, the lives of ordinary South Africans are affected and the ability of the institution to improve the material conditions of the people is eroded. The failure to pass this type of draft legislation is a serious indictment on all parties in Parliament,” read media statement from the Chief Whip Office in Parliament.
It continued:” Be that as it may, the ANC – as the Majority Party, takes full responsibility for this development.
Granted, the duty to ensure the quorum of Members to take part during Parliament decision-making processes rests with all parties in the true spirit of participative democracy. However, the ANC – with its overwhelming mandate it received from the electorate – does not require favours from the very same parties that are against transformation of our socio-economic conditions and against improving the lives of the poor majority of people of our country.
With its significant majority, which the very same parties often dare us to use unilaterally on certain matters, but later accuse us of abusing it on others when it doesn’t suit their agenda, the ANC alone, is and always has been, well-positioned to pass decisions and improve people’s lives.”
Recently, the ANC Caucus Lekgotla resolved that any MPs found to have repeatedly absconded or violated the code of conduct must be recommended to the ANC for their immediate recall from Parliament.
“MPs who repeatedly demonstrate scant regard for the duties entrusted to them by the electorate must make way for those who are prepared to serve with dedication,” it concluded.