ANC Education chair accused of bulldozing BELA Bill through to National Assembly

In the wake of the passing of the Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill in the National Assembly, the DA has written to the Chair of Chairs to demand action be taken against ANC chairperson Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba for autocratic dictatorship behaviour.

While the Department of Education welcomed the passing of the BELA Bill in the National Assembly after 223 votes for and only 78 against, a number of voices continue to decry the callous manner in which the ANC party was using its majority to ignore the considerations of other parties.

The DA’s Baxolile Nodada said the party had written to the chair or chairs to demand action be taken against Mbinqo-Gigaba, ANC’s chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education in the National Assembly, as she had refused members adequate time to deliberate on the amendments made by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on the Bela Bill, restricting members to three minutes to provide challenges.

But further to that, she had also removed members from the virtual meeting when they disagreed with her “autocratic rule”.

“The committee 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, 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.”

Nodaba alleged that even though the DA, and other parties, had requested that the bill be deliberated further, followed by another meeting in which they would consider the final report, and vote on it, the only thing that was done was its placing before the National Assembly.

“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 National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill,” he said.

Nodaba accused the chair of flouting the rules and engaging with members of the committee unparliamentary, as opposing parties were 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.

“We (DA) have 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,” he concluded.

The Star

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Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

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