DA: Nkandla ad hoc committee will ignore Madonsela, SIU reports

2014-08-19 19:59

The National Assembly has resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to consider President Jacob Zuma’s response to the Nkandla controversy amid protest from the DA that its mandate is too narrow.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen argued that the committee’s brief, as proposed by the ANC, should be extended to expressly include the reports of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and the Special Investigating Unit, lest they be swept under the carpet.

“You are leaving the door open for these reports to simply be ignored and that is problematic. It behoves us as MPs to give South Africans the answers they are looking for so we can close this chapter,” he said.

But the ruling party easily defeated Steenhuisen’s proposed amendment to the terms of reference after Speaker Baleka Mbete reluctantly allowed a vote, warning the DA it would not succeed and accusing it of not trusting MPs.

“Let’s go ahead and let the ad hoc committee do its job,” she said.

Steenhuisen retorted: “It is not the members of this House, it is Luthuli House we don’t trust.”

ANC chief whip Stone Sizani had rejected the DA’s proposal as superfluous, stating that parliamentary rule 138 allowed a wide reading of the terms of reference of the committee, and as such there was no cause to fear that the relevant reports would be excluded.

EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu and Themba Godi from the African People’s Convention accepted the assurances of a wide interpretation, but the rest of the opposition parties backed the DA’s position.

Finally, 104 MPs voted for the DA’s proposal and 196 against. Nine abstained.

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