New Parliament, straight back to Nkandla debates

2014-05-16 00:00

THE country’s fifth Parliament is headed for a showdown over Nkandla immediately after it convenes next Wednesday.

Freedom Front Plus MP Dr Corné Mulder plans to call for the reopening of the investigation into President Jacob Zuma’s response to the Public Protector’s report.

“As soon as Parliament resumes, I will write to the new Speaker and argue that a new ad hoc committee should go ahead. It is Parliament’s duty,’’ he said yesterday. He was a member of the parliamentary ad hoc committee that was set up before the elections, but which was shut down after the ANC argued that there was insufficient time and that the next Parliament needed to deal with the matter.

Describing the court review announced yesterday as “classic ANC stalling tactics once again”, Mulder said, “This is what has happened all along, with people buying time till who knows when.” The security cluster was playing an interesting role, he said.

“They are appointed by the president so the question is, would they come out and be critical of the person who appointed them?”

The chairperson of the ad hoc committee, ANC’s Cedric Frolick, said ministers were within their constitutional rights to ask for a review.

“There is nothing more I can say. You can’t assume what a new Parliament will decide. It is out of our hands. After the committee reported back, it ceased to exist. It is entirely up to the new Parliament and the new Speaker.”

But, he added, “This legal decision is a dynamic that the new Parliament will need to take into account.

“My experience of Parliament is that once the legal process is under way, then Parliament respects those processes.”

Another committee member, the ANC’s Luwellyn Landers, said that the consequence of the decision to take the matter under review meant that the Nkandla issue was now sub judice.

“The parliamentary process stops till the review is heard and the court passes down judgment. Until the review application is heard in court, nothing can be done.”

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