Hon members, there is a matter that I wish to deal with before we rise. You will recall that earlier in the debate, when we started with the Schedule on Vote No 1, there was a point of order that was raised by the hon Chief Whip of the Majority Party. The hon Chief Whip of the EFF requested me to look at Hansard and make a ruling in this regard. I have humbly obliged to do so.
On the point of order raised by the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, in which he maintained that hon Shivambu had said that the President had lied and should be asked to withdraw the statement, I undertook to consider the matter and to return to the House with a Ruling.
Hon Shivambu's statement was in Xitsonga and can be translated as follows: What we are saying is that we do not believe that the President will provide water in Giyani. What he said yesterday was just talk and we say it will never happen. People in Giyani should not be lied to by saying that there will be water in September.
I gave hon Shivambu two opportunities to explain or to withdraw his statement. When asked about it, he responded with: I never used the word "lie". I said, what the President is saying about the provision of water in September is not true.
Hon Shivambu, whether by inference or by way of a direct statement, it is unparliamentary to say that the President has lied. The President enjoys to same protection in terms of the Rules as hon members of this House. Hon members, together we are custodians of the Rules of this House, and the party Whips, in particular, have a duty to ensure that these Rules are upheld. Those very same Rules allow us a lot of latitude, criticism and differing from each other politically.
However, it is incumbent on each of us not to refer to each other in a manner that ascribes actions to someone else that we would consider reprehensible if it is ascribed to us. Hon Shivambu, by stating that the people of Giyani should not be lied to, you inferred that the President had lied and that is unparliamentary. I ask you to withdraw your remark.