The Democratic Alliance (DA), an opposition party in South Africa, wants Parliament to fine ministers who fail to answer questions from Members of Parliament (MPs).
eNCA reports that the DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone said ministers must be held accountable. Mazzone said:
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The DA has been complaining about this for a while and it’s been a problem for a while that these questions remain unanswered and we’ve decided to firmly put our foot down and the rules committee agreed with us.
Ministers have an obligation to give… true reflections and true answers to the questions that are asked and if they don’t answer, we strongly feel that a monetary amount should be fined to them.
I think the appropriate sanction should be R1,000 per question and R1,000 per day that the question isn’t answered.
Mazzone said ministers earn a lot of money and an integral part of their work is answering questions.
The rules committee has agreed to a reprimand, but it is yet to be decided whether that punishment can be monetary or in another form.
In neighbouring Zimbabwe, some ministers have been dodging Parliamentary sessions, a tendency that has robbed the nation of explanations on some actions.
Of late, the ministers in question have been citing COVID-19 as the reason for their absenteeism saying they cannot all be in the August House as per the COVID-19 regulations.
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