Cope refuses seat on Nkandla ad hoc body

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Copy of nm president zuma 40.JPG (41067368) INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS President Jacob Zuma. File photo: Antoine de Ras

Cape Town -

Cope will not take part in Parliament’s ad hoc committee that is to look at President Jacob Zuma’s response to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report on his Nkandla home.

But on Thursday other opposition parties were quick to name their MPs who would serve on the committee and the smaller parties were now vying to take up Cope’s place.

Cope spokesman Johann Abrie said the party decided not to participate because they didn’t want to take part in Zuma’s “efforts to undermine the constitution”.

“We will not be complicit in Zuma’s efforts not to account for the money spent on his home. The committee is just smoke and mirrors,” Abrie said.

National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu established the committee on Wednesday and said it would consist of seven ANC members, two of the DA and one each from Cope and the IFP and one MP to represent the smaller parties.

The committee has until April 30 to consider Zuma’s response to the report.

DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko was optimistic about the committee on Thursday and said it was a “victory” for Parliament and accountability.

She and DA federal executive James Selfe will serve on the committee with the party’s caucus chairman, Wilmot James, as an alternate member.

Mazibuko said the DA would push for a determination on whether Zuma: violated the constitution and any other law, was guilty of serious misconduct and deliberately misled Parliament.

“This is the first step in the impeachment proceedings against President Zuma,” Mazibuko said.

ANC chief whip Stone Sizani said the committee will restrict itself to its mandate.

“Contrary to the opportunistic, misguided and deliberately misleading electioneering rhetoric from the DA, the ad hoc committee has absolutely nothing to do with either the so-called ‘impeachment’ or the DA’s request for the establishment of a ‘committee to impeach’ the president,” he said.

The ANC has not decided yet who will represent it.

Narend Singh will represent the IFP and Corné Mulder from the Freedom Front Plus will represent the smaller parties.

Mulder said the smaller parties would ask the committee during its first meeting whether a member from the smaller parties could take up Cope’s seat.

Parliament spokesman Luzuko Jacobs said they hoped parties would say within days who represented them and only then would a date be set for the committee’s first meeting.

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