Loss of Parliament seat an 'unfortunate', 'temporary setback' - outgoing Scopa chair Godi

2019-05-14 20:02
Scopa chair Themba Godi. (Paul Herman, News24)

The outgoing chairperson of Parliament's watchdog committee - the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) Themba Godi says his party's loss of a seat in the National Assembly was an "unfortunate turn of events".

Godi - the only member of the African People's Convention with a seat in the previous Parliament - will leave the national stage after his party failed to attract enough votes required for a seat in the National Assembly.

APC received 19 593 of the vote - approximately 0.11%, roughly 20 000 votes short of the required minimum.

Asked about his thoughts on the elections, Godi said: "For me, as a person and for the party, it is an unfortunate turn of events."

He added that he "would have loved to have kept the role in Parliament" and to "follow up on community issues".

On his political future, Godi said the "national and provincial leadership [of the APC] will be meeting over the weekend". He added that "we will be moving on", saying that the "2021 local elections is not far [away]".

"We look at this as a temporary setback," Godi added.  

He believes that the party's failure could possibly be attributed to "issues we fully represented maybe did not form part of core issues that informed people's decisions on how to vote".

Loss for Scopa

Speaking about his time as Scopa chair, Godi said "I gave it my all" and "always looked forward to holding people to account".

Asked about his time in Parliament and how he stayed committed, Godi said it was "simply about serving people".

"Some people thought it was their democratic right to be corrupt and it was really killing me inside."

"To look at officials saying a lot of nothing was one part that really tested my self-control," he said.

Godi has already prepared the handover for whoever will be replacing him as Scopa chair.

"In terms of parliamentary process there is a legacy report of the past five years ... and that report is there and is available to the committee chair and committee," he said.

He advised his successor to "work in the interest of the people, because for too long oversight has worked in favour of politics".

"Less noise, less heckling and more focus on the issues that affect the people on a day-to-day basis."

On his future plans: "I'm still an old-school activist.

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