ANC Majority Used to Muscle the Work of the Nkandla Committee

By Oliver Ngwenya    29-Apr-2014 19:06 UTC+02:00
Photo: Biz News

Photo: Biz News.

In a show of their increasing awareness of the use that could be put of their majority status, the ANC has vetoed the work of the Nkandla Committee and put on hold its deliberations until fifth parliament is convened. This emerged on Monday when the committee met at the parliament buildings in Cape Town.

This parliamentary ad hoc committee was set up early this month by the Parliamentary Speaker, Max Sisulu to consider President Jacob Zuma’s response to the Public Protector’s damning report on the upgrades to his Nkandla home. In her report, Thuli Madonsela found that the president and his family benefitted from the upgrades and that he should pay back a portion of the cost of these security upgrades.

This committee appears to have encountered problems right from the word go. The ANC took its time in announcing those MPs that would represent it in the committee, delaying the commencement of its work. When they were finally announced and took their place on the committee, the MPs complained that they had not read the Ombudsman’s report and could therefore not be expected to do a good job on the committee. This irked the members of the opposition, who complained that the members should have taken time to study the report.

The second meeting came and, if the opposition were expecting to start and finish the work of the committee, they were greatly disappointed. The ANC put forward a motion to shelve the work of the committee until the fifth parliament was in session as they felt that the time they had as the fourth parliament was not adequate for them to give a good account of themselves. The opposition MPs were not to take that lying down and put forward a strong case for the need to acquit itself in the mandate and time it had been given. They felt that the ANC MPs were delaying the outcome of the committee’s work until after the elections so that the Nkandla saga would have as little influence on the election as possible. The DA parliamentary leader, Lindiwe Mazibuko even went as far as to call this a ‘shameful’ act and ANC’s Buti Manamela did not take kindly to the use of the word ‘shameful’ and counter-accused Mazibuko of using the committee as an electioneering platform.

He insisted that if the committee wanted to meet and discuss the matter until the sixth of May, they would be setting themselves up for failure. Adding to this argument, the ANC chief whip, Dorris Dlakude could find no reason why the opposition did not want the matter referred to the fifth parliament. She further accused the opposition MPs of coming to the meeting with preconceived ideas of what the result of the discussions would be. She further insisted that as the ANC, they wanted to do a good job and not discuss and leave issues unresolved. FF Plus MP Corne Mulder was not happy that the ruling party wanted the issue discussed but only after the 7th of May.

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