The first ruling relates to a point of order that was raised by hon S V Kalyan on 4 June. During Ministerial Responses to Members' Statements on 4 June, hon Kalyan raised a point of order. I undertook to check the Hansard and return to the House with a considered ruling.
In her point of order, hon Kalyan contended that the hon Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities had accused the DA of lying and she asked that I rule the remark unparliamentary and asked the hon Minister to withdraw the remark.
Having had an opportunity to study the unrevised Hansard, I now rule as follows.
During her response, the Minister said the following, and I quote:
We want to dispel all accusations that the DA hurled at us when the Budget Vote was presented. They said that I employed my friends in the department. I do not have any such friends in the department. Young people that I work with are too young to be my friends.
Secondly, they accuse me of defrauding the department of millions of rands to buy my household furniture. That is a pack of lies.
May I remind hon members that we have always drawn a distinction between insinuations made against members of the House and those made against political parties. Thus, an allegation that a member of the House is lying has always been ruled unparliamentary, whereas if such allegations were levelled against a political party, it would not be ruled unparliamentary. Such comments about political parties are part of acceptable parliamentary and political discourse, and therefore not unparliamentary.