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
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
LISTEN: Gerrie Nel on why he's persuing prosecution against Duduzane Zuma

LISTEN: Gerrie Nel on why he's persuing prosecution against Duduzane Zuma

AfriForum will prosecute Duduzane Zuma after NPA declined to do so in 2015 following a 2014 accident where a woman died.

How we invented the modern concept of sleep

How we invented the modern concept of sleep

Dr Bodhisattva Kar reveals how industrial capitalism influenced the world's current sleep patterns.

Hassen Adams (he brought Burger King and Dunkin’ Donuts to SA) talks money

Hassen Adams (he brought Burger King and Dunkin’ Donuts to SA) talks money

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

Kloof Street residents living in fear as crime multiplies

Kloof Street residents living in fear as crime multiplies

A Cape Town man was stabbed to death on Saturday while trying to assist two women who were being mugged on Kloof street.

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

After 3 years there are 3 Nic Harry stores (incl online) that sell 100 000 pairs of socks in over 20 countries around the world.