February 17, 2019

Our Parliament is based very firmly on the Westminster model, an enduring reminder of our colonial past. But as no effort has so far been taken to replace it, we might as well make use of its hundreds more years of experience than we have had and, at least sometimes, take heed of it when we should.

I talk, of course, about the UK House of Commons’ investigation into allegations of bullying in the House of Commons.

Delays and deliberations by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) over instructions issued by the parliamentary Committee raises questions about Parliament’s ability to conduct oversight of the executive when it comes to managing immigration.

In her new book, Turning and Turning: Exploring the complexities of South Africa’s democracy, political analyst JUDITH FEBRUARY reminds us that the Institute for Democracy in South Africa warned us back in 1997 of the threat to democracy posed by secrecy in party funding. No one knew then that in time it would bring us very close to the brink. This is an extract from the book.

The recently released World Bank Group Diagnostic Report on South Africa, “An Incomplete Transition: Overcoming the Legacy of Exclusion in South Africa,” has in many ways shifted the ground on which the ruling party has for decades contested the so-called Washington Consensus. The big surprise was that the Diagnostic Report, released in May, was written in language that sounded very much like the National Development Plan (NDP).

After a long silence, the former deputy head of the Parliamentary Protection Services (PPS), who was placed on precautionary suspension back in 2015, has resurfaced demanding the opportunity to clear his name.

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Notes from the House is an independent weekly email newsletter that tracks and monitors Parliament in its role of holding government to account and passing legislation to improve people’s lives. It aims to bring you the news from Parliament that you don’t get elsewhere. Published by Moira Levy with the support of the Claude Leon Foundation.

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