Committee appointments controversy

2014-06-25 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Parliamentary committees yesterday met for the first time to appoint chairs for each committee for the new term.

On the new committee for trade and industry two controversial figures — the former premier of Limpopo Cassel Mathale and a former senior leader in the ANC Youth League Floyd Shivambu — will rub shoulders.

Mathale was removed after Limpopo went bankrupt on his watch, while Shivambu was suspended from the ANC and is now an EFF MP. The committee is chaired by ANC MP Joan-Marie Fubbs.

A committee that is causing concern is that of energy, which retained only one old member, Lance Greyling of the DA.

The new minister of energy, Tina Joematt-Petterson, has almost no experience in her new portfolio, which makes the oversight role of the energy committee even more important.

Greyling said the issues this committee will have to oversee are complex, with enormous implications for the country.

The new energy chair is ANC MP Fikile Majola.

In the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), the APC leader, Temba Godi, has been re-elected as chair.

In this committee the DA, IFP, ANC and EFF MPs have committed themselves to co-operate “in the interest of South Africa”.

The parliamentary committee with oversight over South Africa’s judiciary will also not be party political, said Dr Mathole Motshekga, who was yesterday appointed as chair of the justice and correctional services portfolio committee.

DA spokesperson on justice, advocate Glynnis Breytenbach, said the first thing the committee had to do was attend to the “chaos at the National Prosecution Authority (NPA)”.

There is uncertainty whether the NPA is stable after former justice minister Jeff Radebe asked advocate Mxolisi Nxasana to resign as NPA head about a month ago.

Breytenbach said there were also serious allegations of political interference in the NPA. “The criminal justice system is falling apart. We must urgently attend to this,” she said.

ANC MP Mmamoloko Kubayi was elected unopposed to chair the parliamentary committee with oversight of the newly created department of telecommunications and the postal service. She expects her portfolio will be interesting. “We must have effective oversight over the executive authority. It is essential that all parties co-operate,” she said.

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