Holomisa pleased his request is getting Speaker’s attention on voting rights

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United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa says he has won round one of his attempts for small political parties to have voting rights on the Section 194 Committee established to inquire whether or not there are grounds for the removal of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane from office.

National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise has referred the matter to the Rules Committee to look at the implications of varying the current approach.

Holomisa wrote to Modise requesting that all political parties must have voting rights on the committee. It has 26 members and only 11 members have voting rights.

Holomisa says he is happy that his request is going to be considered. “So far we have won round one, Madam Speaker has informed me that the matter will be referred to the Rules Committee and we are happy that this will be given an ear not only by one person but by almost all political parties in that committee.”

However, Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution Executive Secretary, Lawson Naidoo believes that the request by Holomisa is not feasible. He also believes that the composition of the committee is in line with the Constitution as well as the rules of the National Assembly.

Naidoo says a committee comprising all political parties might have logistical problems. “A committee that is comprised of all members of Parliament of all political parties will pose logistical problems as well as scheduling of meetings might become difficult if one has to accommodate 25/26 members of Parliament and further the actual running of meetings with so many people may result in the committee losing its focus and requiring a considerable extra amount of time to complete its work. So, the proposal from Mr. Holomisa would appear unworkable and the committee that has been established does appear to be consistent with the constitution and the rules of the National Assembly.”

Meanwhile, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is confident that she will be cleared of any wrongdoing :