Madonsela has no power over Parliament - ANC MP

2014-09-26 22:29
(Dan Calderwood, News24)

(Dan Calderwood, News24)

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Cape Town -  Senior ANC MP Mathole Motshekga has reiterated that Public Protector Thuli Madonsela did not have the power to tell Parliament how to proceed, and that MPs were, therefore, not compelled to concur with her remedy that the president repay a portion of state funds spent on his private home.

Motshekga made this statement during a debate by the committee on the Nkandla controversy in Parliament on Friday.

When the opposition accused Motshekga of undermining the Constitution, he then drew a distinction between the office of the public protector and the reports that it produced.

"There is nothing we are doing that is offending the Constitution," he added.

DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane said the ANC was creating a situation where it was acceptable to ignore the authority of chapter nine institutions and Parliament.

"This is not what the drafters of the Constitution intended... all opposition parties, therefore, withdraw from the Nkandla ad hoc committee."

He said the parties would not leave the matter there but would seek legal advice on how to hold Zuma to account.

Walkout

Opposition parties then withdrew from Parliament's committee on the Nkandla controversy after the ANC refused to agree to call President Jacob Zuma and to enforce the public protector's findings against him.

The walkout was led by Maimane after two-and-a-half hours of debate failed to break a deadlock on both issues, and was described by his colleagues as a watershed moment.

Maimane, the EFF, the FF Plus, and the African Christian Democratic Party pleaded in vain with the ruling party to seek an independent legal opinion on Zuma's stated view that he was not obliged to rubberstamp the public protector's report on the R246m upgrades at his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

"We have reached an impasse... What is clear to me, what is very apparent, is that the ANC is not going to agree to anything. They just want us to run a ritual.

"We cannot proceed on this level," Maimane said.

The ANC had earlier tried to avert an opposition walkout, asking committee chairperson Cedric Frolick to delay a vote and give the parties the chance to find consensus.

However, it then refused to make any concessions.

DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe told reporters the opposition would now look to the upcoming Western Cape High Court ruling on the case of contested SABC chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

In that case, the DA sought an urgent interdict forcing the SABC to suspend Motsoeneng, who was appointed to the post permanently despite Madonsela finding that the public broadcaster should replace him within 90 days.

"The issues in law are absolutely identical," he said, adding that the judgment was imminent.

"We must see what that judgment says and take it from there."

Read more on:    da  |  ff plus  |  anc  |  acdp  |  eff  |  thuli madonsela  |  jacob zuma  |  mmusi maimane  |  cape town  |  parliament 2014  |  politics  |  nkandla upgrade

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