MK Party threatens legal action against KZN legislature speaker

Published Jul 11, 2024


Durban — The battle lines have been drawn as uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) has threatened to haul the speaker of the provincial legislature in KwaZulu-Natal Nontembeko Boyce to court.

This threat comes on the back of a provincial legislature sitting on Tuesday to elect new chairpersons of portfolio committees.

The Jacob Zuma-led MKP, the biggest party in the 80-seater legislature, with 37 seats, is alleging that the meeting was fraught with irregularities.

Member of the Provincial Legislature (MPL) Dr Kwazi Mbanjwa said they decided to boycott the sitting because the speaker was “deliberately” flouting the processes.

“The speaker is doing all she can to frustrate and block the MK Party from taking up key portfolio committees. This is not the first time the speaker is flouting the rules and process of the house. During the first sitting of the house to elect the premier she brazenly flouted the rules of the house like it was no one’s business,” said Mbanjwa.

Following that sitting, which elected IFP Thami Ntuli as Premier of KZN, the MKP took the matter to court, arguing that the meeting was unconstitutionally convened. The MKP said it was still weighing up if it should file another legal bid following Tuesday’s meeting.

“We are still obviously weighing up our options. Look, we can’t allow the speaker (Boyce) to disregard the law to advance her party’s (ANC) agenda of dealing with the MK Party.”

He added: “We boycotted the meeting because we don’t want to be part of something where rules are broken in broad daylight.”

Mbanjwa said the first case over the first sitting nearly three weeks ago, where the IFP’s Thami Ntuli was elected as premier, while Boyce from the ANC got the nod to retain her speaker position and the DA’s Mmabatho Tembe was elected as deputy speaker.

Another MKP vocal member, Mervyn Dirks, a former ANC member of Parliament (MP), was scathing, accusing the speaker of bending over backwards to please members of her party, the ANC.

“We will fight with her until she respects the due processes of the legislature. We are all members of the house. What we witnessed was the grandest flouting of processes by Boyce.”

He added: “Speaker Nontembeko Boyce breached the constitution by not establishing the committees within the stipulated seven days after the first sitting of the house.”

Dirks alleged that Boyce changed the rules and breached the constitution to ensure that the MK Party was robbed of its majority in the house.

During the sitting, the ANC took seven of the 10 positions and secured the chair of chairs position, which went to Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba, former MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture and current treasurer of the ANC in KZN.

The ANC’s partners in the Provincial Government of Unity (GNU), the DA, and the IFP also bagged seven positions, while the DA scooped three.

The PGU, which has the IFP, ANC, DA and NFP, is governing KZN after banding together and reaching 41 seats against the MKP 37 and the EFF’s two seats.

Boyce refuted claims that she breached the rules.

“Everything I have done is in line with the rules of the house. The MK Party has misdirected its accusations that I have flouted the processes,” said Boyce.

She was adamant that all the processes were followed during both the sittings.

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