ANC ignoring call to name Nkandla committee quickly

2014-04-16 00:00

CAPE TOWN — It appears the ANC will ignore the request by the National Assembly Speaker to urgently name members to sit on an ad hoc committee examining the Nkandla report.

Despite Speaker Max Sisulu’s written request to parties to name their representatives “as soon as possible”, the ANC has not decided — six days later.

The speaker announced a week ago that he was setting up a multi-party committee to handle President Jacob Zuma’s answer to the public protector’s report.

He set a deadline of April 30 for it to complete a report.

The other parties named their representatives at the weekend.

According to parliamentary rules, the Speaker has to announce the names within 10 days of establishing the committee. The ANC’s interpretation is that this rule gives it 10 working days to name its representatives.

DA chief whip Watty Watson yesterday released the letter from the Speaker calling for names. He said it is worrying that the committee has not yet been able to begin work.

“Time is of cardinal importance. Given the short time the committee has to complete its work, there is no good reason to wait the maximum time to hand in your names.

“The truth is that the ANC is in no hurry to hold President Zuma accountable, because they know they cannot defend the R250 million spent on his ­Nkandla house.”

The ANC’s parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said “as soon as possible” isn’t the deadline, parliament’s rules set the deadline. “We work by the rules and the rules are clear.”

The Speaker’s spokesperson Luzuko Jacobs said the ANC had indicated it was difficult for it to name seven qualified people so quickly. “If parties say they are battling to get members together, how can he reject that?”

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