North West Acting Premier's appointment unconstitutional
18 June 2018
The Democratic Alliance in North West is disturbed by the fact that Acting Premier, Wendy Nelson is fully functioning in the role of premier without being sworn in within five days after her appointment. This is a blatant violation of Section 131(3) of the Constitution, which states that “before assuming the responsibilities, powers and functions of the Premier, the Acting Premier must swear or affirm faithfulness to the Republic and obedience to the Constitution.”
It is further alarming that former premier, Supra Mahumapelo, had appointed Wendy Nelson knowing full well that Section 131(1) of the Constitution clearly states that the premier can only appoint an acting premier when he/she is on leave. In this instance where the premier resigned, a member of the Executive Council should have been designated by other members or alternatively the Speaker must act as premier if Executive Council fails to elect an acting premier. The appointment of Wendy Nelson was therefore unconstitutional.
The shocking revelation that former premier Supra Mahumapelo’s resignation had not been tabled in the Legislature, demonstrates the North West Speaker, Susanna Dantjie’s apparent disregard for House Rules, indicating her failure to keep Members of the Executive Council accountable and ensuring that House Rules are adhered to.
Former Premier, Supra Mahumapelo, resigned on 23 May 2018 and to date, the vacancy has not been filled. The sitting scheduled for 8 June 2018 wherein which a new premier was to be sworn in, was cancelled without communicating any reasons to Members of the North West Provincial Legislature. The DA believes that this is a depiction of the ANC’s total lack of leadership and their complete apathy in a situation as turbulent as this.
Despite many attempts, the DA could not find any proof that former premier, Supra Mahumapelo’s resignation had been tabled in the Legislature. Attempts to ascertain whether Wendy Nelson had been sworn in as Acting Premier, was also unsuccessful.
The North West deserve leadership and change under a DA-led government, where the people come first, jobs are created and people feel safe in their communities. The time for change is now.
Issued by Jacqueline Theologo, DA North West Chief Whip, 18 June 2018