Motlanthe to become MP soon

2008-05-07 00:00

Cape Town — The ANC National Working Committee (NWC)has confirmed that the name of ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe has been submitted to Parliament so that he may be sworn-in as a Member of Parliament and possibly a cabinet minister.

In a statement following its regular fortnightly meeting on Monday, the NWC said it has not yet been decided where Motlanthe will be deployed in government.

“The matter of where he would be deployed — as mandated by the last meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) — remains work in progress,” the NWC statement said.

The announcement follows an ANC NEC decision, in March, to deploy Motlanthe to a government position to ensure a smooth handover when the end of President Thabo MBeki’s end of term comes and a new term kicks in, after the 2009 election.

The announcement came in the wake of unconfirmed speculation that Motlanthe is to be deployed to the cabinet so as to allow him to “shadow” President Thabo Mbeki while Mbeki serves out the remainder of his term.

Last week, Business Day reported that a senior member of the NEC said Motlanthe would be “like a minister of state in the presidency” with an “overarching” look at government.

Presidential spokesman Mukoni Ratshitanga would not comment on the report, but said the government and the ANC had held talks relating to Motlanthe’s deployment.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe declined to comment on which cabinet position Motlanthe is likely to get, saying the ANC ‘’does not instruct the president’’ who to appoint. Earlier this month, Motlanthe said he was not interested in a cabinet position.

The ANC NWC said it had continued with the ANC’s peparations for its participation in the national energy summit due to be held on Friday 16 May, saying that the ANC is confident that the summit will provide workable and sustainable solutions on the question of electricity tariffs and pricing policy.

The NWC also welcomed the release of the Khampepe Commission’s report into the Scorpions, saying the release of the report strengthens the ANC’s case for the dissolution of the unit.

“In particular the report highlights many of the serious concerns that led to the resolution of the ANC’s Polokwane Conference on this matter,” the NWC said.

“These include the overlapping mandate and potential for conflict between the Scorpions and the SAPS, the lack of co-ordination and cooperation between the Scorpions and SAPS on priority crimes, and concerns about the Directorate of Special Operations intelligence gathering functions. ”

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