News24

Sisulu again snubs Scopa

2010-04-20 22:09

Cape Town - The ANC's chief whip has been asked to bring Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu into line after she failed to appear before Parliament's watchdog public accounts committee for the third time this year.

Themba Godi, the chairperson of the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa), told Sapa he met with chief whip Mathole Motshekga after Sisulu's no-show on Tuesday and won an undertaking that the ANC would deal with the matter.

"There will be a process led by the chief whip to address the situation that has unfolded and to bridge any misunderstanding," Godi said.

Scopa has been seeking a meeting with Sisulu since February when former acting defence secretary Tsepe Motumi appeared before the committee and buckled under questioning on the dire state of the department finances.

In March, the minister was due to accompany financial officers from her department to brief Scopa, but sent word at the last minute that she had to travel to Uganda ahead of President Jacob Zuma, who was due in the east African nation two days later.

Many meetings missed

She had already missed an earlier meeting because she was accompanying Zuma on his state visit to Britain.

In a letter to Godi dated April 18, she assured him that she would attend Tuesday's meeting but warned that she might have to leave early to attend a meeting of the portfolio committee on defence.

When she failed to appear, the chairperson of that committee, Nyami Booi, admitted that he had told Sisulu she could skip the Scopa meeting.

Booi later also attended the meeting with Godi and Motshekga.

Godi said the minister was guilty of "a breach of engagement" but added diplomatically that since this was the first year that Scopa had implemented a policy of summoning ministers, "we could expect to encounter glitches".

Motshekga was criticised by ANC colleagues earlier this year for saying that ministers were not obliged to appear before Scopa.