UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

SPEAKER'S CONDUCT

STATEMENT ISSUED BY MASILO MABETA, MP
UDM CAUCUS CHAIRPERSON

The UDM Caucus this morning discussed the upcoming debate regarding the Speaker's conduct. The ANC decision to deal with the Speaker/Holomisa issue through a debate in the House raises serious concerns.  A matter is now put before the House for debate even though it has not been properly investigated.  The UDM indicated that we prefer that an ad-hoc committee investigate the matter.  Using their numbers muscle, the ANC decided that the matter would be dealt with in a debate.  The UDM remains of the opinion that this option does not provide the opportunity to get to the crux of the matter.

The debate will be ANC dominated and the outcome thereof is a forgone conclusion.  In an attempt to balance this undesirable situation the UDM requested 15 minutes for the debate.  The UDM was informed at the Whips forum that it would only receive 4 minutes.  Other than that, no official response from the ANC was received.  This is clearly not enough time to substantiate the matter at hand.  Furthermore the UDM believes that we are "accused number one" in this debate and therefore should be allowed to respond following the ANC's opening remarks.  Failure by the ANC to compromise on these two basic and logical points clearly indicates that they are not interested in resolving the issue, but merely wants to use the opportunity and the House to rubberstamp support for the Speaker.

It is unfortunately true that this approach underlines the original complaint.

Cape Town
31 May 2001