DA approaches Courts to fight for Parliamentary Opposition Party Right

15 February 2019 – ISSUED BY MANNY DE FREITAS – DA SHADOW MINISTER OF TRANSPORT

The Democratic Alliance has approached the courts Yesterday to fight the ANC’s roughshod attitude towards opposition parties.  During the preparation of the Transport Portfolio Committee report on the Road Accident Benefit Scheme (RABS) Bill, opposition parties requested that their dissenting views on this bill be recorded.   The DA tabled a minority report at 8 November 2018 Portfolio Committee Meeting. According to the rules of Parliament, (National Assembly rule 166 and 288) opposition parties may table minority reports in such instances.

Despite these unambiguous rules which permits minority views to be tabled officially, the ANC refused a minority report.  Instead, it chose to include their own interpretation of a minority report. The DA has therefore approached the court to fight for the right of all opposition parties.

In its minority report, the DA objected to the Motion of Desirability pertaining to the inclusion of no fault and the exclusion of the use of common law within the RABS Bill. If passed, the RABS bill will permit anyone to claim after accidents even if it is that party’s fault. The bill also circumvents legal processes that are constitutionally available.

This is simply a violation of the rules and an abuse of power. This case will strengthen parliamentary participatory democracy and the right of all parties in parliament to be heard. This will ensure that the ANC’s such strong-arm tactics do not reoccur in future.