MK Party concerned by ‘autocratic’ behaviour of Speaker in KZN legislature

Published Jul 10, 2024


The Umkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) has issued a stern statement expressing deep concern over the recent actions of the speaker of the KZN legislature. The party cites significant breaches of established legislative rules regarding the formation of portfolio committees on Tuesday, July 9.

Since the inception of the current term of the KZN legislature, the MKP has been critical of what they describe as the speaker’s authoritarian behaviour.

According to the MKP, the speaker has consistently acted in an overbearing manner, stifling freedom of speech contrary to Rule 14(e) which mandates protection for freedom of speech in the house and expression in the legislature.

“The KZN legislature has breached the rule 195, which is stated in the standing rules of KZN legislature document, which stipulates that; 195 Establishment, (1) The house MUST by resolution– (a) establish a range of Portfolio Committees within seven days of the speaker and deputy speaker after the election of the legislature,” MKP said.

The party said the speaker admitted on record to not adhering to Rule 195 and failed to account for why the sitting failed to take place within the seven stipulated working days. “Regrettably, it has come to our attention that this crucial timeline was not adhered to, with the establishment of these committees delayed,” MKP said.

Furthermore, the MKP raised concerns about the speaker’s unilateral alterations to established rules without due process or consultation, a move they argue undermines the integrity of the legislative process and erodes public trust in democratic institutions.

“Rule 14 mandates that the speaker must ensure that standing rules of the legislature are observed at all times,’’ MKP noted.

“We firmly believe in upholding the principles of transparency, accountability, and respect for established legislative procedures,” affirmed in a statement, emphasising the party’s commitment to these principles.

The party said the speaker’s actions undermined the integrity of the legislative process and that it also eroded public trust in the functioning of the country’s democratic institutions.

The MKP criticised what they termed an “unlawful election of committees” by the speaker and her supporters’ “GNU brigade” calling it a minority coalition under the guise of a Government of National Unity (GNU).

“This is not even a GNU which they call themselves; academically it’s called a minority coalition stealing power of the majority MKP,” the party said.

The MKP said they had been denied their right to participate democratically in the legislature. The party said that the speaker was autocratic, reactionary and therefore favoured counter revolutionaries and white monopoly agents of capitalist establishments.

‘’We call upon the speaker of the KZN legislature to rectify these deviations from the established rules and to uphold the principles of good governance and adherence to legislative procedures,’’ MKP said.

The MKP said they remained committed to ensuring that the voices and concerns of the people of KwaZulu Natal are heard and respected within the legislative process, as they are going to take the legal route to court, in pursuit of their democratic rights.