Cape Town - DA deputy chief whip Mike Waters said the ANC's "disgraceful firing" of Makhosi Khoza as chairperson of the portfolio committee of public service and administration on Thursday, will not mean that the Minister of Public Service and Administration, Faith Muthambi, will escape accountability.
On Tuesday August 15, Muthambi was due to appear before the committee that Khoza chaired at the time to explain allegations that she used state funds to fly family and friends to Cape Town for her budget speech in May.
Muthambi didn't show up at the committee meeting, even though she attended a meeting with Khoza earlier, where, according to Khoza, she gave no inkling that she would not attend the afternoon meeting.
Furthermore, five African National Congress MPs refused to attend the committee meeting because of Khoza's outspoken criticism of the ANC under Jacob Zuma's leadership.
The committee decided to summon Muthambi to their next meeting, and insist that she and her director general, Mashwahle Diphofa, be held responsible for the costs of the meeting.
"That resolution stands and Muthambi must be summoned. If she fails to appear next time, following the summons, she will be liable to a fine or imprisonment," said Waters in a press statement.
He said the Democratic Alliance would write to the acting secretary of Parliament, Penelope Tyawa, to ensure that "the bunking" Muthambi will be subpoenaed to appear before her portfolio committee at the soonest possible date.
"The acting secretary must state explicitly when the minister will be issued with the summons and on what day she will be compelled to appear," said Waters.
"The DA will also call on the acting secretary to ensure that Muthambi is held liable, in her personal capacity, for the costs of her trip to Cape Town, along with the costs of the travel of her fellow truants, the director general of the department and the CEOs from the National School of Government and the Centre for Public Service and Innovation."
Waters also wants an investigation on whether Muthambi pressurised the five MPs to boycott the committee.
"It is a serious matter indeed if she used her influence to sabotage a committee of Parliament," said Waters.
"We cannot and will not allow the ANC's war with itself to impact the work of Parliament and allow errant ministers to evade accountability. South Africa cannot afford two more years of this ANC government."
In his statement announcing that Luthuli House instructed him to fire Khoza, ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu said the ANC contingent on the committee will be changed. It is unclear what these changes entail and who the new chairperson will be.
Meanwhile, the ANC Youth League did little to dispel the notion of the ANC as a party at war with itself.
"The ANCYL strongly believes that merely removing comrade Khoza from the chairpersonship of the portfolio committee on public service and administration does not come close to... the organisational damage her conduct and that of deployees continue... to cause to the African National Congress," reads a statement from the league.