Fracas over speaker 'bias'

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

KwaZulu-Natal legislature speaker Willies Mchunu and IFP caucus leader Lionel Mtshali are at each other's throats.

This after Mtshali publicly called for Mchunu, who is also a senior member of the ANC in the province, to resign.

Mtshali published a letter in a newspaper, in which he said: "Mchunu is bias[ed]. He has created a repulsive atmosphere in the legislature."

He accused Mchunu of bending parliamentary rules to suit the ruling party.

Mtshali also said Mchunu was "not fit to serve in a tolerant and impartial multiparty democracy".

Mchunu denied the accusation and alleged that Mtshali had written the letter out of desperation because he had summoned him to a disciplinary hearing.

"He was trying to intimidate me from freely executing my duties as a speaker," he said.

"The tactics of the leader of the opposition were attempts to extricate himself from a disciplinary hearing by attacking my leadership."

Mchunu urged the IFP to voice their grievances in the legislature.

Mtshali said: "Anyone who has witnessed a single sitting of the provincial house will conclude that the speaker perceives the opposition as evil.

"He treats criticism of the executive like a mutiny," he said.