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Cape Town - The DA is outraged by what it sees as the ANC’s attempts to delay the Nkandla ad hoc committee by failing to submit names of MPs to serve on the committee.
By Monday, the ANC was yet to submit the names of seven MPs to represent the party on the committee, more than a week since National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu announced its establishment.
The ANC has rejected the DA’s accusations as politicking as it is well within the 10 working days deadline to select its members.
DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko and the federal chairman, James Selfe, will represent the DA. Other opposition parties have been allocated one seat each.
“The ANC is clearly running scared and now doing everything possible to protect President Zuma. Failure to begin its work as soon as possible gives the committee fewer days to deliberate on the matter as the April 30 deadline draws closer,” said Mazibuko.
In terms of rule 138, the ad hoc committee will be empowered to:
* Summon any person to appear before it to give evidence on oath or affirmation, or to produce documents.
* Receive petitions, representations or submissions from interested persons or institutions.
* Conduct public hearings.
* Permit oral evidence on petitions, representation, submissions, and any other matter before the committee.
Mazibuko said she had sent an urgent letter to Sisulu to urge him to ensure the committee was called to meet this week.
“This delay is a great disservice to Parliament and the constitution, and undermines the office of the Speaker – who established this committee with a clear indication that it must start its work as soon as possible,” said Mazibuko.
ANC parliamentary spokesman Moloto Mothapo said the rules of the National Assembly stipulate that parties had 10 working days to recommend names to the Speaker to serve on the ad hoc committee.
“We will meet that deadline. Our task isn’t easy and we won’t hurry it just to assist the DA’s narrow electioneering agenda. The committee is being established during recess, which means looking for these MPs, who are now involved an intense election campaign in all nine provinces, is not going to be an overnight exercise.
“Other parties only need one or two MPs, hence they can do this in a day,” said Mothapo.
IFP parliamentary caucus chairman Velaphi Ndlovu confirmed on Monday that his party would be represented by Narend Singh.
Cope has already rejected its invitation to take part in the committee.
“By participating in an ad hoc committee, which will certainly be packed with a majority of President Zuma’s most loyal batsmen, a dangerous precedent will be set, to which the Congress of the People cannot be party,” said the party’s spokesman Johan Abrie.
The Freedom Front Plus will be represented by its chief whip Corné Mulder.