Could new rules really end robust debate in Parliament?

According to some constitutional experts, some new rules which have been passed at the National Assembly, could potentially end parliamentary robust debates.

In his blog, Professor Pierre de Vos, Claude Leon Foundation Chair in Constitutional Governance at the University of Cape Town (UCT), writes that new rules at the National Assembly target disruptive behaviour and speech which is protected by the Constitution.

Phephelaphi Dube, Director of the Centre for Constitutional Rights, says that there has been a disconnect at the National Assembly in recent times about what is considered to be "unparliamentary behaviour", which is not defined in South African law.

Dube spoke to #NightTalk's Gugs Mhlungu and Sizwe Dhlomo.

Listen to the conversation below:

We've inherited an inherently British style of parliamentary debate, together with British rules

Phephelaphi Dube, Director of the Centre for Constitutional Rights

Up until this moment in South African law, there hasn't been a definition of what the term 'unparliamentary' means

Phephelaphi Dube, Director of the Centre for Constitutional Rights

We should really be interpreting these rules in a manner which is as wide as possible. Where we would ordinarily view certain words or phrases in Parliament as insults, for all intensive purposes, these words should be overlooked in the spirit of encouraging that robust debate

Phephelaphi Dube, Director of the Centre for Constitutional Rights

A balance needs to be struck between allowing Parliamentarians to get on with the business of the day, and at the same time, being able to debate in a manner that all the limits of what is acceptable in ordinary society are tested

Phephelaphi Dube, Director of the Centre for Constitutional Rights

Recommended

by THE NEWSROOM
Read More
Meet the woman striking the gender balance in the energy sector

Meet the woman striking the gender balance in the energy sector

Noxolo Kahlana believes there are many opportunities for women in the energy sector and encourages women to jump on the bandwagon.

Should heads of state make public their health status?

Should heads of state make public their health status?

Following speculations on the health of Nigerian President Buhari, Gugs and Sizwe ask why head of states hide when they are sick.

A steep price tag may not always constitute a good bed

A steep price tag may not always constitute a good bed

702's Gugs and Sizwe chat to UCT sleep researcher about how much time and energy should go into choosing the right bed.

Suicide is prevalent among business owners - insurance advisor

Suicide is prevalent among business owners - insurance advisor

Karina Namhing, Director at Nam Inc analyses the reason insurance companies are reporting high suicide rates in 2016.

[LIVE NOW] Parliamentary Speaker Mbete's live stream

[LIVE NOW] Parliamentary Speaker Mbete's live stream

Parliamentary Speaker Mbete takes the opportunity to respond on Thursday's chaos

The EFF and Parliament - walk-ins to walk-outs?

The EFF and Parliament - walk-ins to walk-outs?

What happened with the EFF in Parliament on Tuesday?

Popular articles
I was not introduced to Ajay Gupta - Grootes

I was not introduced to Ajay Gupta - Grootes

Stephen Grootes says he believes former Eskom CEO Brian Dames when said he was not formally introduced to the Gupta family.

Minister Zwane confirms trips to Dubai and Switzerland

Minister Zwane confirms trips to Dubai and Switzerland

EWN parliamentary correspondent Gaye Davis says Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane received detailed and tough questions.

Zweli Mkhize 'taken by surprise' with latest cabinet reshuffle

Zweli Mkhize 'taken by surprise' with latest cabinet reshuffle

The ANC treasurer-general confirmed Mantashe’s comments that the President did not consult the ANC leadership on the reshuffle.

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

The EFF lawyer stole the show during the state capture report court battle.

How to make your first million

How to make your first million

Warren Ingram discusses his new book in which he shares practical ways for ordinary people to achieve financial freedom.

'Collect experiences, NOT possessions!' - Paul Theron (Vestact MD)

'Collect experiences, NOT possessions!' - Paul Theron (Vestact MD)

Bruce Whitfield interviews the razor-sharp tongued Vestact MD Paul Theron about his money hopes, fears, successes, failures, etc.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Meet Errol Musk - father of Elon, the most innovative entrepreneur of our age

Meet Errol Musk - father of Elon, the most innovative entrepreneur of our age

Elon Musk, as you’d expect, hails from an exceptional family. Bruce Whitfield interviews his Capetonian father.