Opposition unimpressed by Mthembu's ANC whip appointment

2016-03-22 14:03
Jackson Mthembu (File: Beeld)

Jackson Mthembu (File: Beeld)

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Cape Town – Opposition parties were largely unimpressed by the appointment of Jackson Mthembu as the ANC’s new Chief Whip in Parliament.

DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen called Mthembu "a Jacob Zuma apologist".

Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem said he didn't think Mthembu would be able to stand up to the president and National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete.

Mthembu, a former ANC spokesperson, was appointed to the post following the resignation of Stone Sizani earlier this month.

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, however, said they wished him well and hoped he would be able to concede to superior logic during debates.

Steenhuisen said Mthembu had been given the job in an attempt to get the ANC caucus behind Zuma.

"South Africa needs Parliament to work. The ANC caucus has a duty to oversee the executive. They have failed dismally to do this in the past and it is doubtful that Mthembu, as a Zuma loyalist, will have the backbone to stand up for the institution of Parliament while he is Chief Whip," the DA said in a statement on Tuesday.

Bloem said Mthembu’s appointment would make little difference to the chaos in the National Assembly.

"He is too much of a spin doctor to enjoy the confidence of all parties. He will not attempt to turn things around. The National Assembly needs someone as a Chief Whip who can effect an instant coffee solution. There is no place for dragging the feet and allowing the chaos to continue," the party said.

The EFF said Mthembu was politically senior enough to guide most of the ANC's "wayward" MPs and the executive.

"We encourage Mr Mthembu to use his political seniority to provide mature guidance and sound leadership so that Parliament plays the necessary oversight and law-making role without fear or favour," the EFF said in a statement.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  eff  |  jackson mthembu  |  parliament 2016  |  politics

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