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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Parliament sitting: MK Party’s ‘frivolous’ application to ConCourt has ‘no legal basis’

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A Constitutional law expert says the MK Party’s attempt, to prevent the first sitting of the 7th Parliament on Friday, and get a hearing on alleged election fraud, is frivolous and has no basis in law.


The MK Party approached the Constitutional Court on Tuesday in an attempt to interdict the first sitting of the National Assembly, citing unproven allegations of election fraud.


But Lawson Naidoo, the executive director of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC), says he expects the court to summarily throw out the application.


”They’ve made claims of widespread irregularities and vote rigging, but they have not produced a shred of evidence to back that up. I don’t see how they can expect the Constitutional Court to entertain an application that seeks such a far reaching remedy as postponing or suspending Friday’s sitting.”


Naidoo says all the announcements by the IEC and Parliament since the release of the election results has followed the prescripts of the Constitution.


During Friday’s first sitting of the National Assembly, which will take place at the CTICC, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo will preside over the election of the President, Speaker, and Deputy Speaker.


Naidoo says in the event that the sitting fails to elect individuals to these positions, there is a set procedure that will follow in terms of the Constitution.

“The system is specifically designed in a way that produces a result.”


He explains should two candidates receive the same number of votes, the Chief Justice can adjourn the sitting for seven days and reconvene to hold the vote again.


This will also give parties more time to negotiate.


Naidoo says whether we will see a Government of National Unity, or some sort of coalition, is immaterial.


”Whether it’s called a Government of National Unity or something else, is in my view, not the critical thing, it’s about the content of the agreement that’s reached. The issue of a Government of National Unity takes us back to the early 1990’s, but we must remind ourselves that back then it was a legislative arrangement that was part of the interim Constitution. Now it would be a voluntary coming together, so very little difference from what would ordinarily be called a coalition.”


What to expect during the first sitting of the 7th Parliament


During the first sitting of the National Assembly, on Friday 14 June, the Chief Justice will swear in the designated MP’s and administer the oath or affirmation of faithfulness to the Republic and obedience to the Constitution.


All members must take this oath or affirm faithfulness before they can perform their functions in the Assembly.


Out of the 400 MP’s that are due to be sworn in, it remains to be seen whether any designated MK Party members will attend.


Parliament earlier this week indicated it had cancelled all accommodation and flight arrangements for elected MK Party members due to their threat to boycott proceedings.


ALSO READ: First sitting of Parliament on Friday, President to be elected


Following the swearing-in of the members, the Chief Justice will preside over the election of the NA Speaker.


Once the Speaker has been elected, he or she will then preside over the election of the Deputy Speaker.


After the Deputy Speaker has been elected, the Chief Justice will then take over again and preside over the election of the President.


The first National Council of Provinces sitting will take place on 15 June.


During this sitting, the Chief Justice will swear in and administer the prescribed oath and affirmation to the members and thereafter preside over the election of the NCOP Chairperson.


The Chairperson will preside over the election of the NCOP Deputy Chairperson.




Liesl Smit
Liesl Smit
Liesl is the Smile 90.4FM News Manager. She has been at Smile since 2016, with nearly 20 years experience in the radio industry, including reading news, field reporting and producing. In 2008 she won the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award, Western Cape region. liesl@smile904.fm

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