ANC miffed at 'attack' on Joemat-Pettersson

2013-04-17 22:04
Tina Joemat-Pettersson (Picture: Beeld

Tina Joemat-Pettersson (Picture: Beeld

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Cape Town - A parliamentary research paper that finds responsibility for fisheries management is "in the wrong hands" has drawn sharp criticism from the African National Congress.

In a statement on Wednesday, ANC Chief Whip Mathole Motshekga said the ruling party "distances [itself] from the malicious political views expressed in the... document".

It said the views expressed in the paper, drawn up by Parliament's research unit ahead of a portfolio committee meeting with Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, scheduled for Thursday, "do not represent the views of the ANC members in the committee".

The document - extracts from which were quoted in Business Day on Wednesday - states that the responsibility for fisheries management "is in the wrong hands".

It further lists mismanaged ships, a lack of research planning, and targets and a strategic plan out of step with the National Development Plan, as problems that must be addressed.

It claims the department is in a "defiant mode" with regard to its plans to allocate 70% of fishing rights to SMMEs during the 2013/14 financial year.

Motshekga said the paper attacked the integrity of Joemat-Pettersson.

"The report... makes serious political judgements that attack the integrity of the minister and casts aspersions on her professional competence.

"This is unacceptable, as it stands contrary to the impartial role parliamentary staff should play in the course of professional service they render to members of Parliament."

It was also an "anomaly" for a research report to be directly distributed to general committee members without the approval of the chair, who commissioned research work on behalf of the committee.

"The role of the parliamentary research department is to offer objective and impartial research information and analysis to enable committee members to have an informed discussion on the topic of the day.

"Expression of political statements, personal judgements, and posturing is a terrain that should be left to politicians, not staff members."

It said politicised research material contaminated discussions and made it difficult for MPs to approach their oversight work with the necessary factual information and understanding.

Read more on:    anc  |  mathole motshekga  |  tina joemat-pettersson  |  parliament 2013  |  politics

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