ANC Caucus Statement on Mike Waters

6 September 2007

The ANC Parliamentary Caucus supports the decision of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to dismiss the Democratic Alliance MP Mike Waters from the House yesterday.

Rule Number 51 of the National Assembly states that, “if the presiding officer is of opinion that a member is deliberately contravening a provision of these Rules, or that a member is in contempt of or is disregarding the authority of the Chair, or that a member´s conduct is grossly disorderly, he or she may order the member to withdraw immediately from the Chamber for the remainder of the day´s sitting’.

Caucus fully agrees with the Speaker´s ruling that the question by Mr Waters to the Minister of Health was out of order as it reflected on the integrity of the Minister and imputed impropriety on her part. We reaffirm that it is indeed established practice that a member who wishes to bring allegations of improper conduct against any member should do so by way of a substantive motion, a procedure which Mr Waters failed to follow in this instance.

Mr Waters´s demonstration of contempt to the authority of the Speaker when instructed to behave orderly, and his spewing of insults to both the Speaker and the Minister, is a conduct unbecoming of an honourable member of the House and it is a travesty to its decorum and traditions.

In preserving the prestige of Parliament, members are at all times required to observe certain codes of conduct, follow certain norms of behaviour and respect the rules, customs and conventions of the institution. The conduct by Mr Waters, which is splashed in most of today´s papers, makes a mockery of our people´s tribunal and the opposition in Parliament.

Issued by the ANC Parliamentary Caucus