Mfeketo protecting ANC - DA

2010-10-28 15:31

Cape Town - Acting Speaker Nomaindia Mfeketo's "refusal" to allow a snap debate on the closing of the arms deal investigation is a clear attempt to protect the ANC from political fallout, the DA said on Thursday.

On October 22, the Hawks and National Prosecuting Authority closed the last two remaining legs of the arms deal investigation, which included the probe into the German Frigate Consortium and British Aerospace.

Democratic Alliance spokesperson David Maynier said he wrote to National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu, requesting a snap debate on the decision.

"My request for a debate was lodged in terms of Rule 103 of the Rules of the National Assembly, which allows a private member to request the Speaker to place a matter of public importance on the Order Paper for discussion in the National Assembly," he said.

However, on October 26, acting Speaker Nomaindia Mfeketo responded by turning down the request.

"This is a clear attempt to protect the ruling party from political fallout and smother public debate about the arms deal scandal.

"By refusing to allow a snap debate on the closure of the investigation, Nomaindia Mfeketo allowed the ruling party's interests (to) trump the people's interests in the National Assembly," Maynier said.

In her reply to Maynier, Mfeketo said in considering his request she noted he had approached the public accounts committee (Scopa) to hold an urgent public hearing into the matter.

"My understanding is that the committee must still finalise its approach in this regard.

"In addition, to allow members opportunity to fully prepare for any debate, you have the option of giving notice in the Assembly."

Thus, she was of the view the matter should not be debated in terms of Assembly Rule 103 and advised him to give notice of a motion that the House debate the matter, Mfeketo wrote.

Maynier said he intended to write to Sisulu, requesting that he review the decision taken in his absence by Mfeketo.

"We cannot sit back and allow the ruling party to protect its interests ahead of the people's right to know the truth," Maynier said.