ANC Chief Whip must go back and read the rules
In his over-the-top response to the DA’s legitimate concern about the non-scheduling of questions to President Zuma, the ANC’s Chief Whip revealed his own ignorance of parliamentary rules.
I am well aware of the fact that the National Assembly’s draft weekly programme is adopted each week by the National Assembly Programming Committee, hence my stated intent to raise the matter at its next meeting.
But the concern remains as to why ‘Questions to the President’ were not already given at least one provisional slot on the draft programme for the first term, as rule 111 states: “Questions to the President must be scheduled for a question day at least once per term”.
If no such slot is catered for in the draft schedule in accordance with the rules, the DA has an obligation to point this out.
After all, this is not the first time that the President has not fulfilled his duty to appear before Parliament in a term. In 2011, he managed to avoid answering questions for a period of six months.
The DA has a constitutional obligation to monitor President Zuma’s accountability to Parliament and raise its concerns. We cannot accept a parliamentary schedule that favours ceremonial events over the real business of scrutinising and overseeing the work of government.
Statement issued by Watty Watson MP, Democratic Alliance Chief Whip, January 23 2013