Thuli and that tweet

2015-07-31 09:29
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Lerato Maduna/Foto24

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Lerato Maduna/Foto24

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Cape Town - Retweeting a critical article by a constitutional expert is one of the reasons Public Protector Thuli Madonsela might never give voice to her Secure in Comfort report before Parliament.

This was according to ANC MP Mmamoloko Kubayi, who told the Nkandla committee on Wednesday she will not be part of the consultation between parties on why it was prudent to invite Madonsela.

Kubayi said after visiting President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home last week, she had called for Madonsela to appear before the committee but she has since changed her mind because the protector retweeted an article by Professor Pierre de Vos questioning the legal standing of the Nkandla committee.

Kubayi said by retweeting De Vos’s article, Madonsela proved that she held similar views about the existence of the ad hoc committee.

“On that basis chair, I will not sit here and listen to her,” she concluded.

The committee on Thursday evening voted against the proposal to call Madonsela.

Questions of clarity

On several occasions during Wednesday's meeting where the Ministers of Police, Nathi Nhleko and Public Works, Thulas Nxesi appeared before the committee, ANC MPs raised clarity-seeking questions arising from Madonsela’s report.

They also sought to water-down Madonsela’s findings, including a reference to an amphitheatre in her report which ANC MPs argue is a retaining wall and not an entertainment area.

A number of opposition MPs from the DA, Inkatha Freedom Party, the Pan Africanist Congress and the African Christian Democratic Party argued that it did not make any sense for the committee not to invite Madonsela to speak to her report as it had allowed Nhleko to speak to his.

While the deputy chief whip of the ANC, Doris Dlakude, needed convincing on why Madonsela should be called in, her comrade Kubayi outright opposed Madonsela’s invitation.

Dlakude said she was not closing the door on the possibility of Madonsela addressing the committee “since honourable members say we should call the public protector to come and present”.

She suggested that members of the committee consult each other outside the committee to understand why the public protector had to be called “because we are not conducting an investigation”.

‘License to loot’

Dlakude said Zuma’s private architect Minenhle Makhanya could not be called in either as he was facing criminal charges before a court.

“There is no way that Makhanya can be called because the matter is before the court, that would be interfering with the court,” said Dlakude.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane had earlier suggested that Makhanya needed to answer the question: “Where did he get the license the loot?”

The special investigative unit is suing Makhanya for R155m in relation to the Nkandla project.

Another ANC MP who opposed Madonsela’s appearance was Thandi Mahambehlala, who said the public protector never submitted her report to Parliament because was governing herself.

“She is supreme!” declared Mahambehlala while decrying Madonsela for presenting her report to the media and not to Parliament.

But Madonsela did send her report to Zuma with a request for him to respond to Parliament within 14 days of receiving it, stating the action he was going to take.

According to the Executive Members’ Ethics Act - under which Madonsela investigated the Nkandla matter - the public protector has to submit her report to the president within 30 days of drafting it and the president in turn has to inform Parliament about what action he would take within 14 days.

The act states that the president should attach the public protector’s report to his report for Parliament.

The Nkandla ad hoc committee has to report back to the National Assembly by August 7.

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  thuli madonsela  |  parliament 2015  |  nkandla upgrade
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