NATIONAL NEWS - Argument about whether a member of Parliament can introduce a bill in the National Assembly will be heard by the Constitutional Court on Tuesday.
Inkatha Freedom Party MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini has brought an application for leave to appeal a judgment by the Western Cape High Court on the validity of certain National Assembly rules.
He argues that the rules permit the majority party in the National Assembly to prevent members of minority parties from exercising their Constitutional right to introduce bills in the Assembly.
He contends that this violates his political and democratic rights under section 73(2) of the Constitution, and asks the Constitutional Court to declare the rules in question constitutionally invalid.
The section in question states that any bill may be introduced in the National Assembly, but only by a Cabinet member, a deputy minister, or a member or committee of the National Assembly.
Oriani-Ambrosini wrote to the Speaker of the Assembly, Max Sisulu, asking that a bill, which sought to amend the National Credit Act, be introduced.
In response, Sisulu informed Oriani-Ambrosini that the bill would have to be processed in terms of the rules of the National Assembly.
Those rules required that a private member's bill, before being introduced in the National Assembly, be submitted to the committee on private members' legislative proposals and special petitions.
The committee would then make a recommendation to the Assembly on whether permission be granted to proceed with the proposed legislation.
Before the legislative proposal could be proceeded with, it had to, in terms of the rules, receive approval from a majority of the members of the National Assembly.
Source : Sapa