Nkandla committee dissolved for now

By Drum Digital
28 April 2014

The Parliamentary ad hoc committee on Nkandla dissolved.

The Parliamentary ad hoc committee which was set to consider President Jacob Zuma's submissions on the Public Protector's report on Nkandla was effectively dissolved on Monday.

A report by the committee referring the matter to the fifth Parliament was adopted, following heated arguments between ANC MPs and their opposition counterparts.

The matter was put to a vote after the ANC proposed the matter stand over for the next Parliament to consider after the May 7 elections. The ANC used its majority to win the vote. "The first motion therefore was carried. The committee noted that despite its commitment to the task, there was insufficient time to complete the work as set out in the terms of reference," the adopted committee report read.

"The ad hoc committee recommends that this matter be referred to the fifth Parliament for consideration."

The DA tabled its minority view, which was also adopted.

"The committee believes that nothing less than a consistent effort to discharge its responsibility to the Constitution before the fourth Parliament is dissolved would constitute a gross dereliction of duty and negation of its members' oath of office," the opposition party report read.

The ANC argued there was not enough time for the committee to do its job properly before the current Parliamentary term ends.

"We want to do justice to this matter. That is why we are saying time is against us," ANC whip Dorris Dlakude said.

"There is no reason we cannot refer this matter to the fifth Parliament."

Frustrated opposition party MPs objected strongly.

"This is a pretty shameful state of affairs. The ANC claims the committee does not have the time to do the work. We have yet to hear... from the ANC on what the work is," said a very irate Democratic Alliance Parliamentary leader, Lindiwe Mazibuko.

The meeting became heated when ANC MP Buti Manamela chided Mazibuko for using the word 'shameful' and accused her of using the committee as an electioneering stunt.

"If we want the committee to work until the 6th of May, we'll be setting the committee up for failure," Manamela explained.

Dlakude accused opposition parties of having a pre-meditated outcome before the committee had even started deliberations.

"It seems they know what they want to achieve on this one. As the ANC we say we stick to our motion. We are not going to do something and then leave it. We want to do a thorough job," Dlakude argued.

Freedom Front Plus MP Corne Mulder interrupted her, shouting: "I don't believe you."

"It's quite clear what's happening. You want things discussed, just not before the 7th of May," Mulder said.

The ad hoc committee, established by National Assembly speaker Max Sisulu, was set to investigate submissions made by Zuma in response to a damning report by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

Madonsela found Zuma and his family had unduly benefited from security upgrades to his Nkandla residence to the value of R246 million.


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