Could new rules really end robust debate in Parliament?

According to some constitutional experts, some new rules which have been passed at the National Assembly, could potentially end parliamentary robust debates.

In his blog, Professor Pierre de Vos, Claude Leon Foundation Chair in Constitutional Governance at the University of Cape Town (UCT), writes that new rules at the National Assembly target disruptive behaviour and speech which is protected by the Constitution.

Phephelaphi Dube, Director of the Centre for Constitutional Rights, says that there has been a disconnect at the National Assembly in recent times about what is considered to be "unparliamentary behaviour", which is not defined in South African law.

Dube spoke to #NightTalk's Gugs Mhlungu and Sizwe Dhlomo.

Listen to the conversation below:

We've inherited an inherently British style of parliamentary debate, together with British rules

Phephelaphi Dube, Director of the Centre for Constitutional Rights

Up until this moment in South African law, there hasn't been a definition of what the term 'unparliamentary' means

Phephelaphi Dube, Director of the Centre for Constitutional Rights

We should really be interpreting these rules in a manner which is as wide as possible. Where we would ordinarily view certain words or phrases in Parliament as insults, for all intensive purposes, these words should be overlooked in the spirit of encouraging that robust debate

Phephelaphi Dube, Director of the Centre for Constitutional Rights

A balance needs to be struck between allowing Parliamentarians to get on with the business of the day, and at the same time, being able to debate in a manner that all the limits of what is acceptable in ordinary society are tested

Phephelaphi Dube, Director of the Centre for Constitutional Rights

This article first appeared on 702 : Could new rules really end robust debate in Parliament?


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Meet the woman striking the gender balance in the energy sector

Meet the woman striking the gender balance in the energy sector

Noxolo Kahlana believes there are many opportunities for women in the energy sector and encourages women to jump on the bandwagon.

Should heads of state make public their health status?

Should heads of state make public their health status?

Following speculations on the health of Nigerian President Buhari, Gugs and Sizwe ask why head of states hide when they are sick.

A steep price tag may not always constitute a good bed

A steep price tag may not always constitute a good bed

702's Gugs and Sizwe chat to UCT sleep researcher about how much time and energy should go into choosing the right bed.

Suicide is prevalent among business owners - insurance advisor

Suicide is prevalent among business owners - insurance advisor

Karina Namhing, Director at Nam Inc analyses the reason insurance companies are reporting high suicide rates in 2016.

[LIVE NOW] Parliamentary Speaker Mbete's live stream

[LIVE NOW] Parliamentary Speaker Mbete's live stream

Parliamentary Speaker Mbete takes the opportunity to respond on Thursday's chaos

The EFF and Parliament - walk-ins to walk-outs?

The EFF and Parliament - walk-ins to walk-outs?

What happened with the EFF in Parliament on Tuesday?

Popular articles
Research probes citizens views on Cape water crisis

Research probes citizens views on Cape water crisis

The Global Water Leaders Group will present preliminary results of a study evaluating Cape Town's water crisis.

Canada has legalised marijuana, could South Africa follow suit?

Canada has legalised marijuana, could South Africa follow suit?

Independent Journalist Kevin Bloom says its part of a global movement towards the recognition of the plant's properties.

SIU report: Corrupt and fraudulent dealings worth R1.2 billion in Gauteng health

SIU report: Corrupt and fraudulent dealings worth R1.2 billion in Gauteng health

The report reveals that former Gauteng Health MEC Brian Hlongwa and 11 others are involved in the irregular expenditure.

Cape dam levels on the rise, but not all clear yet

Cape dam levels on the rise, but not all clear yet

This week, the overall dam levels are at 40.9% of total storage capacity and there was an increase of 8.8 percentage points.

What was Mabuza's business with Putin? Sikonathi Mantshantsha asks

What was Mabuza's business with Putin? Sikonathi Mantshantsha asks

Sikonathi Mantshantsha echoes Parliament's sentiments in wanting to know what was discussed during David Mabuza's visit to Russia.

Medical Aid Scheme Amendment Bill to boot out medical aid co-payments

Medical Aid Scheme Amendment Bill to boot out medical aid co-payments

Acting Chief Executive and Registrar for medical schemes, Dr Sipho Kabane, explains what the Amendment Bill entails.

First-ever CT shooter gets probation thanks to ShotSpotter gunfire tech

First-ever CT shooter gets probation thanks to ShotSpotter gunfire tech

The City of Cape Town welcomes the first-ever ShotSpotter-linked conviction and sentence, handed down this month.

Damning audio of Tom Moyane instructing Sars official to fake illness emerges

Damning audio of Tom Moyane instructing Sars official to fake illness emerges

The instruction from Moyane to the official was to allegedly avoid speaking to KPMG investigators during 'rogue unit' inquiry.

Woman exposed for calling fellow aircraft passengers the K-word

Woman exposed for calling fellow aircraft passengers the K-word

Reverend Solomuzi Mabuza says he is considering laying charges against the woman for calling him a ka***r.

Celebrity chef Siba Mtongana gets vulnerable, opens up about money

Celebrity chef Siba Mtongana gets vulnerable, opens up about money

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Mtongana about her attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.).