Congress of the People (COPE) MP Kennett Sinclair was ordered out of the NCOP today for rising on a point of order relating to a statement by a member of the ANC which reflected on the Judiciary by inferring that
white judges were protecting the interests of the DA. Earlier in the day, Sinclair had made an interjection in which he used the term “Bantu education”. This was objected to and he was asked to withdraw that. He did. When he himself rose on a point of order later in the debate in respect of Parliamentarians reflecting on the judiciary the Chairman said he would make a ruling later. Sinclair interjected that if he was asked to withdraw the use of “Bantu education” so too should the ANC member regarding white judges protecting the interest of the DA. The ID, however, objected to the mention of “Bantu education” in the new context by Sinclair. The Chairperson refused to accept any explanations and ordered Sinclair to be ushered out of the House. Clearly there was no basis for Sinclair’s expulsion in terms of the rules of the NCOP. Freedom of speech is being seriously eroded in Parliament and this is a
matter of very grave concern to COPE. Sinclair was writing to the Chairperson to ask which provision of the NCOP rules was used to ask him to leave the chamber. Arbitrary action by presiding officers cannot occur in a constitutional state.