MK Party claims it was not consulted on JSC posts

Former judge John Hlophe is nominated by the MK Party and is among the six MPs nominated to serve as commissioners in the Judicial Services Commission.

Former judge John Hlophe is nominated by the MK Party and is among the six MPs nominated to serve as commissioners in the Judicial Services Commission.

Published Jul 3, 2024


The uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party expressed its unhappiness on not being consulted on the withdrawal from the National Assembly’s agenda on Tuesday the consideration of designation of the MPs to serve on the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

This comes after the designation of newly elected MPs to the JSC was deferred for consultation among parties.

The designations of MPs to the JSC, a body which interviews and recommends judges for appointments and impeachment, was among the three items ANC chief whip Mdumiseni Ntuli asked to be withdrawn from the agenda of Tuesday’s sitting.

The two others are the election of three House chairpersons and the election of members to represent Parliament in the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF).

“The reason for this withdrawal is to allow for further consultation on the matters that need to be cleared out on the three motions above,” Ntuli said.

There was no objection when National Assembly Speaker Thoko Didiza asked if there were any objections.

However, after the Appropriation Bill was revived, an MP of the MK Party wanted an explanation of why the JSC item was withdrawn from the agenda.

The public representative raised concern that the House was moving with speed and deferring issues.

“We are not consulted on some of the issues that are deferred. We are not given an option to know on what basis we defer issues,” said the MK Party member.

“We don’t know why it is being deferred.

As the MK Party we have not been informed about the deferment of the issue, what the reason and what is happening,” he added.

Didiza explained that when Ntuli made the request for the withdrawal of the items to allow for consultation among the parties, she had put the matter before the house for consideration.

“I did put the motion and there was no hand, and that is why I said there being no amendment or objection, we move forward with the motion,” she said.

Didiza said a reason for the withdrawal had been given and no objection was raised.

“I would really appeal that we proceed with the business of the day and there can be consultation among whips of parties on issues concerned,” she added.

The draft motion on designation of MPs to serve on the JSC contains the name of former Western Cape judge president John Hlophe, who became the first judge to be impeached in the democratic dispensation earlier this year.

He was nominated by the MK Party.

Last week, he told the media that it was premature to comment on whether he would accept the nomination.

Others nominated as commissioners to the JSC are the ANC’s Soviet Lekganyane and Fasiha Hassan, the DA’s advocate Glynnis Breytenbach, EFF’s Julius Malema and ActionSA’s Athol Trollip.

The designation of MPs to serve on the Magistrates Commission went smoothly.

Those designated to the Magistrates Commission include the ANC’s Faith Muthambi, DA’s Adrian Roos, MK Party’s Sibonelo Nomvalo and EFF’s Omphile Maotwe.

The National Assembly elected Ntuli, the DA’s Mergan Chetty, MK Party’s Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla and EFF’s Vuyani Pambo to represent Parliament in the Pan-African Parliament.

Meanwhile, Ntuli was announced as the chief whip for the majority party, the ANC, and Michael Michalakis as the whip of the official opposition party, the DA.

Didiza said the issue of definitions and terminology to refer to the two was a matter the National Assembly rules committee was considering.

“In the intervening time we will use the titles as they appear in our rules,” she said.

The MK Party, the third largest party, said last week it regarded itself as the official opposition because the DA as the second biggest party was now part of the Government of National Unity.

Cape Times