Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

Speaker must do even more to maintain order in Parliament

(Debate in Parliament: Motion of no confidence in the Speaker of the National Assembly)

The Speaker of Parliament's National Assembly (NA) must do more to protect the dignity of Parliament, even if it means imposing hefty fines on Members guilty of misconduct so that they, for instance, forfeit their salaries.

It is important to understand that the police's Presidential Protection Unit is not tasked with protecting the person Cyril Ramaphosa, but the elected president of the country.

When the current president is, therefore, replaced by another person after the elections next year, the Unit's loyalty will still be to its office, and not the person.

The incident of 9 February this year, when members of the EFF stormed the NA's stage, posed a direct threat to the President and members of the Protection Unit were compelled to step in at once to protect him.

Shortly after the incident, the leader of the DA criticised their conduct. I, on the other hand, commended them.

The Unit did the right thing. Their conduct demonstrated that they had been properly trained to immediately read the situation correctly, and not wait on an instruction from the Speaker to defuse a potentially dangerous situation.

What happens in Parliament, as the supreme Legislature in the country, sets an example for everyone in the country. Also, with regard to how disagreements between parties ought to be settled.

The question to ask is whether this example is worth following or not. On 9 February, violence was used, as is so often the case.

Members of Parliament will never convince the public that gender-based violence is wrong if they themselves frequently resort to violence to settle arguments.

Parliamentary rules currently allow certain bully tactics, and the Speaker must ensure that they are amended. Stringent rules must be in place to deter people from attacking the NA's dignity.




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