Outcry from opposition parties as Nkandla committee dissolved

2014-04-29 08:21

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Frustrated opposition party MPs objected strongly as the Parliamentary ad hoc committee that was set up to consider President Jacob Zuma’s submissions on the Public Protector’s report on Nkandla was effectively dissolved.

“This is a pretty shameful state of affairs. The ANC claims the committee does not have the time to do the work. We have yet to hear ... from the ANC on what the work is,” a very irate DA parliamentary leader, Lindiwe Mazibuko, said yesterday.

A report by the committee referring the matter to the fifth Parliament was adopted, following heated arguments between ANC MPs and their opposition counterparts.

The matter was put to a vote after the ANC proposed the matter stand over for the next Parliament to consider after the May 7 elections.

The ANC used its majority to win the vote.

“The first motion therefore was carried. The committee noted that despite its commitment to the task, there was insufficient time to complete the work as set out in the terms of reference,” the adopted committee report read.

“The ad hoc committee recommends that this matter be referred to the fifth Parliament for consideration.”

The DA tabled its minority view, which was also adopted.

“The committee believes that nothing less than a consistent effort to discharge its responsibility to the Constitution before the fourth Parliament is dissolved would constitute a gross dereliction of duty and negation of its members’ oath of office,” the opposition party report read.

The ANC argued there was not enough time for the committee to do its job properly before the current Parliamentary term ends.

“We want to do justice to this matter. That is why we are saying time is against us,” ANC whip Doris Dlakude said.

“There is no reason why we cannot refer this matter to the fifth Parliament.”

The meeting became heated when ANC MP Buti Manamela chided Mazibuko for using the word ‘shameful’ and accused Mazibuko of using the committee as an electioneering stunt.

“If we want the committee to work until the 6th of May, we’ll be setting the committee up for failure,” Manamela said.

Dlakude accused opposition parties of having a premeditated outcome before the committee had even started deliberations.

“It seems they know what they want to achieve on this one. As the ANC, we say we stick to our motion. We are not going to do something and then leave it. We want to do a thorough job,” Dlakude said.

Freedom Front Plus MP Corne Mulder interrupted her, shouting: “I don’t believe you.”

“It’s quite clear what’s happening. You want things discussed, just not before the 7th of May,” Mulder said.

The ad hoc committee, established by National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu, was set to investigate submissions made by Zuma in response to the damning report by Thuli Madonsela.

Madonsela found Zuma and his family had unduly benefited from security upgrades to his Nkandla residence to the value of R246 million.

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