President Cyril Ramaphosa
File Photo 11 August 2022: President Ramaphosa receives letters of credence by Foreign Heads of Mission to South Africa. Photo: GCIS

The ANC Parliamentary Caucus has issued the following statement on the “matter of an outstanding follow-up and supplementary questions to the President arising from Question time on 30 August 2022”.

The ANC Caucus says it is not surprised by the “factually misleading statements” made on social media platforms by the leader of the United Democratic Movement (UDM) and Chief Whip of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Bantu Holomisa and Floyd Shivambu, respectively.

“The two leaders’ statements are misleading the public by distorting the decisions of the National Assembly Programme Committee (NAPC) meeting that took place this morning,” claimed the ANC.

In his tweet, Holomisa alleges that the NAPC “will schedule another question session for President Ramaphosa to come back to Parliament to answer question 5” (related to the alleged robbery on his Phala Phala farm), and  Shivambu, on the other hand, claims that the NAPC “agreed in principle that Mr Ramaphosa must be reconvened (before 29 September scheduled question)”.

Holomisa’s tweet

Shivambu’s tweet

The ANC responded: “Not only are both these statements devoid of the truth, but they also reveal the naked skulduggery of some minority opposition parties.”

The caucus says the statement released by Parliament today clearly outlines the decisions of the NAPC meeting this morning. Parliament says “the Speaker announced that she would write to the President to request a date regarding his availability to complete the business of the outstanding supplementary questions.”

In reaching this conclusion, the Speaker was guided by the Rules of the NA. In addition, the Speaker by invoking Rule 210, will meet with the Chief Whip of the Majority Party and Leader of Government Business to finalise the matter, said the Caucus.

“As far as the ANC Caucus is concerned, President Ramaphosa answered Question 11 during the House sitting on 30th August 2022. Questions are answered by the Executive informed by the content of the question and not according to how opposition parties want a question to be answered. This has been repeatedly stated by Presiding Officers.

“The fact that in terms of the rules, question timed lapsed is squarely located in the disruptive behaviour of both EFF and ATM.

“What remains of Question 5 is the follow up question which was not asked by Mr Zungula because he wasted the time of the NA by arguing with the Speaker and the time for questions expired.

“In addition, supplementary questions to Question 11 also could not be dealt with because of the lapse of time and earlier disruption of the House by EFF.

“We are looking forward to the next scheduled question session with the President on the 29th September and stand by our position of tabling a motion to allow for the follow up question and supplementary questions to be asked.

“The NAPC has agreed to our proposal put in the name of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, for the outstanding supplementary questions to be replied to.

“The ANC Caucus unequivocally distances itself from coercive and anti-democratic behaviour of some opposition parties, to undermine Parliament’s decisions just because they can’t get their own way.

“The Caucus affirms the powers of the National Assembly to perform its constitutionally mandated role of maintaining oversight and holding the Executive accountable. However, as the majority party, we will unflinchingly uphold the Constitution and the Rules of Parliament.

“Any compromise with parties who disregard the rules and decorum of Parliament would dishonour our oath of office as Members and surrender our electoral mandate to unparliamentary behaviour,” said the statement which was issued by Hon. Pemmy Majodina, ANC Chief Whip.