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NEWS

SA Opposition divided by civil unions vote


Donwald Pressly | November 16, 2006

CAPE TOWN — The National Assembly minutes of proceedings for Tuesday – but issued on Wednesday – has recorded the names of Members of Parliament who voted for or against the Civil Unions Bill – which effectively will allow for gay marriages in South Africa.

While there were just two abstentions – from African National Congress MP Johannes Phumani Phungula and the Democratic Alliance's national chairperson Joe Seremane – just 41 of the 400 member house voted against the measure with 229 for the measure.

Among those who voted for the measure – with the ruling ANC imposing a whip in favour of the measure – were Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils, Public Administration Minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa and Social Services Minister Zola Skweyiya.

While the bulk of DA MPs voted for the measure – including the Leader of the Opposition Tony Leon – a minority of DA members voted against the measure. They included Sakkie Blanche, Willem Doman, Ryno King, Karel Minnie, DA Free State leader Roy Jankielsohn, Rafeek Sayedali-Shah, Maans Nel, and Sydney Opperman.

The measure was opposed by Independent Democrat MPs Vincent Gore, Lance Greyling and Avril Harding, but leader Patricia de Lille was not in the house.

Inkatha Freedom Party MPs, who were in the house, voted against the measure including Albert Mncwango, Alfred Mpontshane, Usha Roopnarain, Sybil Seaton, Peter Smith, Constance Zikalala, Mabalana Sibuyana and Nhlahla Zulu. IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi was not registered as being present for the vote.

Pan Africanist Congress MPs Themba Godi and Motsuoko Pheko opposed the measure while the party's third MP Mofihli Thomas Likhotsi was not present.

Minority Front MPs Sunklavathy Rajbally and Royith Baloo Bhoola, who normally vote with the ANC, were also not present for the vote.

The United Christian Democratic Party's Bafithile Pule voted against while his colleague Isaac Mfundisi was not registered in the vote.

United Democratic Movement MPs Jackson Bici, Ntopile Marcel Kganyago and George Madikiza and party leader General Bantu Holomisa were not present for the vote. Holomisa's relative, ANC MP and traditional leader Patekile Holomisa, was also not present for the vote.

National Democratic Convention MPs Makhosazana Mpho Mdlalose, Vincent Ngema, Bonginkosi Ngiba and Dr Gavin Woods were not present.

African Christian Democratic Party MPs, including leader Kenneth Meshoe and Henry Cupido, voted against the measure. MP Cheryllyn Dudley was not in the house.

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder, his brother Corne, and fellow MP Willie Spies voted against the measure.

South Africa will be the first country in Africa to allow same-sex marriages.

Other countries that allow same-sex marriages include Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Canada. – Issued by www.inet.co.za, © all rights reserved


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