Parliament, Wednesday 23 November 2022 – The Rules Committee of the National Assembly (NA) has adopted the proposed implementation plan that Parliament will follow in implementing the recommendations of the Judicial Commission Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector including Organs of State Report (Zondo Commission) as they pertain to Parliament.

The submission made to the Rules Committee dealt withparliament’s oversight and accountability role, monitoring of the implementation plan and parliamentary reforms to strengthen carrying out Parliament’s mandate.

In order to ensure effective implementation, the Rules Committee will receive a report on a bi-annual basis on recommendations pertaining to institutional mechanismsas they pertain to the National Assembly.

The committee also discussed the mechanisms Parliament would put in place to oversee the President’s implementation plan of the executive branch. In respect of matters to be referred to portfolio committee, the House Chairperson for Committees will receive quarterly reports.

Also, according to the plan the Leader of Government Business will interact with Parliament’s Presiding Officers on the recommendations that relate to the interface between Parliament and the Executive. The National Treasury will also engage with Parliament to determine the most appropriate way to give effect to the Commission’s recommendations on the resourcing of Parliament, specifically with respect to its capacity to hold the Executive to account.

During the same meeting, the Committee also adopted the report of the Sub-Committee on Review of Assembly Rules.

The report was based on the technical amendments to the Rules for virtual/hybrid sittings, consideration of the principle of a ruling, procedures to regulate the display of placards and objects in the House as well as the use of virtual backgrounds and opportunities for members to raise matters in the House with reference to questions to the Executive for oral reply.

The meeting agreed to amend Rule 64(e) to prohibit members from bringing placards and objects into the House, except with the prior permission of the Speaker.

Furthermore, the Committee adopted the report of the Subcommittee on Physical Removal of Member from Chamber on physical removal of members from the chamber on 30 August.

According to the report the Subcommittee found that there was sufficient evidence that the members who were removed- Mr K Ceza, Mr Paulsen, Mr Mthenjane and Ms Mente- had violated the Rules of the Assembly.

It further found that the disorder in the Chamber affected not only the Speaker or the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa but also the public, as they were unable to listen to the President’s replies to questions for more than an hour.

The report will now be referred to the Powers and Privileges Committee.

Enquiries: Moloto Mothapo