DA calls on Parliament to suspend Scopa chair Mkhuleko Hlengwa pending investigation into conduct

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Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Mkhuleko Hlengwa.
Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Mkhuleko Hlengwa.
Jan Gerber
  • The DA has called on National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to investigate the conduct of Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa.
  • Hlengwa came under fire and got into a heated confrontation with Eskom Board member Busisiwe Mavuso during the meeting.
  • DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone wants Hlengwa suspended while the investigation into his conduct continues.

The DA has written to National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to request an urgent investigation and action to be taken against Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa.

Hlengwa came under fire this week after he got into a heated confrontation with Eskom Board member Busisiwe Mavuso during a meeting of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa).

Hlengwa reprimanded Mavuso for implying that the ANC was responsible for Eskom's woes, calling her actions "gutter politics" and ordering her to leave.

DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone described Hlengwa's actions as reprehensible.

Mazzone said:

Members of various boards of directors are summoned to Scopa to be held accountable by Parliament, and they have the right to speak freely and honestly, and they are required to tell the truth. It has never happened that a board member who was telling the truth or speaking frankly was asked to quit because the Scopa chairperson did not like what he was hearing. Hlengwa treated Mavuso with total disrespect and disdain after she presented an honest account of her findings and experiences with Eskom. If the ANC is not a problem at Eskom, then who is.

Mazzone has demanded a full apology be sent to Mavuso for being thrown out of a meeting where she was asked to give an honest opinion.

She also said Hlengwa must be reported to the Powers and Privileges Committee for a full investigation into his behaviour.

While that investigation continues, Mazzone said, Hlengwa should be suspended as Scopa chairperson until his hearing is finalised.

"All sides of the story should be heard in Scopa sessions, and people should be allowed to speak without fear, favour. Mavuso, like every other individual, asked to speak, should be afforded some protection and not have their right to speak trampled. Given his total partiality toward the ANC in his conduct, it appears that Hlengwa takes his instructions on Eskom matters from the ANC," she said.

ALSO READ | If you want pliable SOE board members who ‘behave’, then say so: Mavuso on Eskom showdown

Hlengwa did not respond to questions sent to him. His comment will be added once received.

Earlier on Monday, Hlengwa told Radio 702 that Scopa wanted answers to the Eskom board not meeting 14 of the recommendations the committee had made.

"Eskom is not performing and not delivering on it core mandate, which is to supply electricity to the grid. So who else do we ask? Those questions go to the board and the executives."

He said some in "their political capacity" agree with her that Eskom is an "ANC mess".

"That is not in dispute. She raised the right issue in the wrong meeting with the wrong people."

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