When President Jacob Zuma delivers his State of the Nation (SONA) address on Thursday night to a joint sitting of Parliament, all eyes will be on the MPs of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and on the presiding officer (Speaker Baleka Mbete). Will EFF MPs disrupt proceedings? Will the Speaker follow the rules of Parliament or will she make up her own rules as she has done in the past? Below I provide a short explanation of the applicable rules in an attempt to inform readers about what ought to happen at SONA so that they can compare this with what actually happens on the night.
A good presiding officer of Parliament has two indispensable weapons at his or her disposal in dealing with disruptive MPs. First, the good presiding officer will have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the rules of Parliament and will be able to challenge MPs by invoking the relevant rule, preferably by mentioning the number of the rule and saying why it is applicable. (more…)
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The Public Protector cannot realise the constitutional purpose of her office if other organs of State may second-guess her findings and ignore her recommendations. Section 182(1)(c) must accordingly be taken to mean what it says. The Public Protector may take remedial action herself. She may determine the remedy and direct its implementation. It follows that the language, history and purpose of s 182(1)(c) make it clear that the Constitution intends for the Public Protector to have the power to provide an effective remedy and direct its implementation.