Mthembu slams ANC MPs' accusations that he 'colluded' with DA in state capture motion

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu (Leon Sadiki, City Press)
ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu (Leon Sadiki, City Press)

Cape Town – ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu has blasted insinuations by ANC colleagues that he "colluded" with the DA to schedule a debate on state capture on Tuesday.

The National Assembly was due to debate a DA-sponsored motion on Tuesday on the "scourge of state capture" and Parliament's duty to hold the executive to account.

The ANC MPs held a press conference, aired on Monday evening by ANN7, slamming Mthembu, the inquiry into Eskom and lead evidence adviser Advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara.

"The office of the ANC chief whip has noted the unfortunate public utterances by five ANC MPs accusing the ANC chief whip, comrade Jackson Mthembu, of having colluded with the Democratic Alliance to table today's subject for discussion in the National Assembly," he said on Tuesday.

"Through its conventions and practices, Parliament has over time established a rotational basis within which political parties introduce motions for debate in the National Assembly."

Tuesday was just the DA's turn for such a motion, he said.

Matter reported to the ANC

"The insinuation that the majority party in Parliament can direct the opposition [as to what] what their motions for debate ought to be, and vice versa; is not only malicious, but also very dangerous to the functioning of a healthy multi-party democratic Parliament.

"The ANC chief whip has escalated the unfortunate and defamatory utterances of these MPs to the ANC."

The MPs included Loyiso Mpumlwana, Moloko Maila and Mervyn Dirks.

They said an inquiry into state capture that did not include "white monopoly capital" was a "whitewash".

They had in June previously called for the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises to expand its scope to include "white monopoly capital".

Parliament is currently debating the motion on state capture, brought by DA chief whip John Steenhuisen.

Maila on Tuesday asked House chairperson Thoko Didiza to dismiss the motion due to the inquiry taking place simultaneously.

His point of order was shut down by opposition MPs who said Parliament was not a court of law, and therefore the sub judice rule did not apply, provided they did not anticipate the outcome of any investigation the House was conducting.

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