April 22, 2005

It seems as if the ANC has chosen to deepen and worsen the crisis arising out of the constitution-drafting process in the province. The IFP has suspended its participation in such process to protest the fact that the ANC has been making all decisions relating to the process unilaterally. We pointed out that he who controls the process determines its outcome, and requested that all process decisions be made with the majority required for the adoption of a constitution.

In spite of this, without any mandate from decisions previously taken in the Ad-hoc Constitutional Affairs Committee, a mysterious document has been produced and circulated as a parliamentary document. This document purports to be a collection of all relevant constitutional proposals organised in a questionable manner and seems to serve as the basis for future steps in the process. Without any apparent reason this document obliterated a number of proposals advanced by the IFP.

Today was the deadline for each Party to submit responses to the Report produced by the panel of constitutional experts. The report itself calls for such submission, pointing out that no judge could ever assess the constitutionality of any proposal without the benefit of submissions and arguments.

Today the IFP has made a submission countering and answering all the concerns, which the report raised in respect of each proposal. It would have been required for this process to continue so that certainty on the legal aspects of the process could be achieved before a document could be produced as the basis for substantive and policy discussion. Obviously the ANC has sought to manipulate and shortcut this process to influence it towards the adoption of its viewpoint. All this is unacceptable and against the interest of the province.

Contact: Dr Lionel Mtshali, 083 256 4902