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Parliament - The DA tabled a motion on Tuesday calling for the censure and removal of joint standing committee on intelligence committee (JSCI) chairman Cecil Burgess.
Burgess had failed “to table numerous annual reports in Parliament”, Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier said.
“The fact is that the JSCI seems to have gone rogue, flagrantly ignoring its obligations to table annual reports in Parliament.
“We have a bizarre situation where Parliament’s ability to conduct effective oversight of the state security agency, 1/8police 3/8 crime intelligence, and defence intelligence, is being undermined by the JSCI,” he said.
The committee was required, in terms of the Intelligence Oversight Act, to table annual reports in Parliament. The annual reports were vital to ensuring that the security agencies were accountable to Parliament.
However, the JSCI had failed to table annual reports for the 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13 financial years in Parliament.
The JSCI was not above the law. There was a suggestion that the JSCI annual reports had been delayed by the presidency, he said.
However, a letter from Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane, dated October 16, 2013, confirmed the JSCI annual reports were not submitted to the presidency.
In the end, because these annual reports had not been tabled, the security agencies were effectively not accountable to Parliament.
Maynier's motion called on Parliament to censure Burgess, order the committee to table the outstanding reports immediately, order Burgess to explain why the committee failed to table the reports, and order his removal.
“This has gone on for too long. It is time for Cecil Burgess to go,” Maynier said.