Africa-Press – South-Africa. The DA in the Western Cape faced fierce criticism from opposition parties over its handling of the dismissal of provincial legislature Speaker, Masizole Mnqasela. Mnqasela’s membership was terminated earlier this week by the DA – because of disparaging remarks he made about the party or decisions of its structures.
He was not present during the sitting of the house on Thursday afternoon.
After the termination, the Speaker was given until Tuesday morning to reapply for party membership.
The DA’s internal woes, however, set the table for a rowdy sitting on Thursday, with opposition parties launching a scathing attack on the party over its treatment of Mnqasela.
Opposition party members were particularly interested as to why Mnqasela was not present in the house.
Taking the lead, the ANC’s Cameron Dugmore asked where the Speaker was and when the vacancy was declared.
But Mnqasela’s absence remained a mystery, despite the concerns raised.
The DA’s Wendy Philander chaired Thursday’s sitting in the legislature.
Philander told members: “The house has been made aware of possible litigation that might impact on the provincial Parliament processes. This is not part of the business of the day.”
Mnqasela is expected to challenge his termination in court.
The DA’s acting chief whip, Deidre Baartman, tabled a motion regarding the Speaker’s position.
The motion sought that the secretary of the legislature be authorised to act on behalf of the legislature, in respect of any litigation in which the legislature is cited or may become cited, until such a time as the legislature again has a Speaker.The tabling of the motion was marred by heckles and disruptions.
The EFF’s Melikhaya Xego said it was worrying how motions were moved.
“We did not hear the motion… there has been heckling and disruptions,” he said. The rowdy responses forced Philander to adjourn proceedings for a few minutes before the sitting could resume.