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NHI Bill: Opposition parties allowed more time to get legal opinions after FF Plus sends legal letter to Parliament

The FF Plus has persuaded Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Health to grant opposition parties more time to obtain their own legal opinions on the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill.

After the Committee indicated last week that it is not willing to allow parties additional time, the FF Plus had its legal team deliver a letter about the matter to Parliament over the weekend. (See letter attached.)

In the letter, the FF Plus put Parliament on terms regarding the matter and insisted that, among other things, parties must be given enough time to obtain legal opinions.

The FF Plus was compelled to take this course of action after it had walked out of last week's meeting in protest of the Committee's refusal to grant parties an extension.

The FF Plus argued that parliamentary and state advisors had two months to compile their legal opinions, while opposition parties were only given two days.

The FF Plus had requested an extension to seek legal advice on 1 March 2023 already, but the request was immediately rejected.

During the meeting of the Portfolio Committee this morning, the letter from the FF Plus's legal representatives was tabled.

The FF Plus made it abundantly clear that despite the Committee's majority decision, the party will proceed to obtain its own legal opinion on the matter.

The legal opinion would then be submitted to the Office of the Speaker, the chairperson of Parliament as well as the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee.

The FF Plus pointed out that the party's legal representatives received no response to their letter. The letter to Parliament put the institution on terms.

The FF Plus had requested an extension until 19 April 2023 in its legal letter. The Committee postponed the meeting to 5 April 2023.

The FF Plus sees the extension as a victory for democratic processes in Parliament.

The party will continue to apply pressure regarding the NHI to ensure that the ANC does not simply steamroller the Bill through.

The FF Plus's legal representatives will also keep monitoring the process.

 

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