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Parliament, Wednesday 22 August 2019 - The Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Thandi Modise, has declined a request by the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Mmusi Maimane, that an urgent question be put to President Cyril Ramaphosa, as part of this afternoon’s session on questions for oral reply by the President. Mr Maimane had submitted a request to the Speaker to have an additional urgent question to the President regarding payments made by the CR17 Campaign to certain cabinet ministers.

According to Rule 141 of the National Assembly rules, a Member who wants to put an urgent question must deliver a signed copy of the question to the Speaker before 12h00 on the day preceding the question day on which the question is to be answered, clearly indicating that it is an urgent question. An urgent question, if approved, takes precedence over all other questions on the relevant question day.

Furthermore, the National Assembly Guide, 2004, specifies that when considering an application for an urgent question it must be dealt with as if it is a request for a debate on an urgent matter of national importance. Accordingly, the request should not be granted if the matter can be considered by some other means in the near future.

As Mr Maimane’s question may therefore be dealt with as a written question, the application was not granted. The Speaker also found that Mr Maimane’s request failed to comply with Rule 141(2), as it was submitted after 12h00 as required.

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