DA to pursue Nkandla request

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James Selfe1

Independent Newspapers

DA federal executive chairman James Selfe. File photo: Damaris Helwig.

Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance will not let Speaker Baleka Mbete's refusal to reconstitute an ad hoc committee on the Nkandla controversy rest, James Selfe, the chairman of the party's federal executive said on Saturday.

Selfe said he would write to Mbete on Monday arguing that her reason for doing so is flawed and insist that she constitute a committee to deal with President Jacob Zuma's response to the public protector's report on the Nkandla upgrade, or give proper reasons for refusing to do so.

Mbete on Wednesday in a letter to Selfe said an ad hoc committee could only be established by the National Assembly except if it were adjourned for more than two weeks, in which the speaker could take such a decision.

This was the case when former speaker Max Sisulu established a committee to consider Zuma's response to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's finding that he derived undue benefit from the R243 million upgrade of his private home.

Selfe said he disagreed with Mbete that she was unable to do the same because she adjourned the National Assembly more than two weeks ago on May 21, the date on which MPs were sworn in and Zuma was formally elected as president by them.

“It is a case of what constitutes an adjournment under the rules of Parliament,” Selfe said.

“I'm going to write a letter on Monday, because in my view Parliament has been adjourned, and ask her to constitute such a committee and if she refuses to do so state proper reasons.”

Zuma responded to Madonsela's report by saying he would await the outcome of the Special Investigating Unit's separate probe into the matter before giving a full reply. Her recommendations included calling on him to repay a proportion of the state funds spent on the project.

The committee Sisulu established met briefly before the May elections, and recommended that the matter stand over to the fifth Parliament because it lacked the time to deal with it comprehensively.

However, the new legislature is not bound by that recommendation.

Sapa


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