Nkandla: Walkout shows bad faith – ANC

2014-09-26 16:52

It was clear from the outset that opposition parties had not meant to participate in good faith in Parliament’s ad hoc committee on Nkandla, says ANC Deputy Chief Whip Doris Dlakude.

Briefing the media today following a walkout by opposition parties from the committee proceedings earlier in the day – after the African National Congress refused to agree to call President Jacob Zuma – she said they had not “provided compelling and legitimate cause” for him to appear.

“It was clear from the outset that the opposition’s desire was never to participate in the committee process in good faith, with a view to assist Parliament to arrive at sound resolutions on the matter.”

The briefing was called in response to the opposition walkout.

Dlakude said the ad hoc committee was expected to conduct “a qualitative interrogation, robust analysis and thorough appraisal” of the reports before it, and formulate an opinion for the National Assembly’s consideration.

“The committee was neither called to re-investigate nor to review the findings of the reports.”

She said it remained the ANC’s view that the reports provided sufficient information to enable Parliament to form an opinion.

“While the committee is empowered in terms of the rules to summon individuals to appear before it for questioning, this would have meant a rehash of the investigation, which would have warranted an alteration of the findings of the report.”

If individuals mentioned in the reports were called to testify before the committee, a legitimate expectation would be created that their testimonies, which might either agree or materially contest the reports, should be taken into account when the committee reported to the House.

“This would have unavoidably compelled Parliament to review the reports, which is in conflict with the institution’s constitutional powers.

“In this regard, the ANC cautioned against opening the re-investigation process that would have thrown the institution into a legally untenable situation.”

Dlakude said the opposition parties’ mission was “to abuse the committee to pursue [their] relentless and obsessive anti-President Zuma campaign”.

ANC committee members were present at the briefing.

ANC MP Mmamoloko Kubayi said the ad hoc committee – expected to sit again on Tuesday – would continue its work.

“As long as there’s a quorum, the committee can work ... If they [opposition parties] don’t come back, it’s their loss,” she said.

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