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Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Baxolile ‘Bax’ Nodada MP.

The parliamentary committee for Basic Education was today meant to engage on amendments made by the NCOP on the BELA bill. Instead, the ANC Chairperson displayed behaviour akin to an autocratic dictator.

Not only did she refuse to allow adequate time to deliberate on the amendments made by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), dictating that Members only have 3 minutes to provide valid challenges to legislative clauses that will deeply affect our children’s education –but also removed Members from the virtual meeting when they disagreed with her autocratic rule.

The Committee today was nothing more than an ANC rubber stamp, free of any meaningful deliberation or consideration. To put this into perspective, the ANC had already tabled the Report in the National Assembly for voting tomorrow, despite the committee not even having met, considered any of the amendments by the NCOP, or had sight of the very report they were supposed to vote on. They also accepted a version of the bill from the NCOP that contained mistakes.

When this was raised, the ANC chairperson refused to hear any of it.

The DA, along with other parties, had requested that the Bill be deliberated on today, followed by another meeting in which they would consider the final Report, and vote on it – only for it then to be placed on the Order Paper in the National Assembly. However, the ANC already has a preconceived timeline to push through BELA without any changes to give effect to their cheap electioneering campaign. This reeks of the same last-minute manipulation of voters as we are seeing currently with the NHI.

The correct procedure is to deliberate and resolve issues prior to the adoption of a committee report. Failing to do this would amount to members not applying their mind to the matter. The ANC majority ignored this and went ahead adopting a report which rubber-stamped the changes made by the NCOP to the BELA bill.

The chair flouted the rules and engaged with members of the committee in what can only be described as unparliamentary. The opposing parties were also denied their right to include a minority report.

What occurred in today’s meeting is unacceptable, unparliamentary and an embarrassment to South Africa. When BELA ultimately gets challenged in court, it will be procedural problems such as these that ultimately strike it down. The DA will not let the Chairperson’s actions go unchecked, and the DA has written to the Chair of Chairs to demand action be taken against her – so that future Bills in that committee never suffer the same fate.

The DA will continue to voice its objection to the Bill which now goes to the NA and if passed to the President’s desk.

Source of original article: Democratic Alliance (
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