Mbete given deadline on Nkandla

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iol news pic baleka mbete

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Baleka Mbete is the Speaker of the National Assembly and the African National Congress national chairwoman. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Parliament - The DA on Monday gave Speaker Baleka Mbete until Wednesday to reconsider her refusal to create a new ad hoc parliamentary committee to consider the Nkandla controversy.

“I have written to her and asked her to re-establish an ad hoc committee and asked her to respond to me by 5pm on Wednesday,” said James Selfe, the chairman of the Democratic Alliance's federal executive.

“I said that in my view Parliament is in recess and therefore there is no reason why she cannot establish such a committee,” he added.

“I have asked her to supply me with the reasons for her decision.”

Mbete last week turned down a request the DA made in May for her to set up a committee that could continue the work of one set up by her predecessor Max Sisulu before the general elections.

She pointed out that the Speaker only had the power to create ad hoc committees if the National Assembly, with whom the power to do so normally resides, had been adjourned for more than two weeks.

Selfe argues that Parliament was adjourned on May 21 after new MPs were sworn in, and that therefore she had the necessary power to take such a decision.

The DA has hinted it would consider legal action if it found Mbete's reasons for refusing to set up a committee flawed.

Sisulu is believed to have angered the ruling party when he established a committee to consider Zuma's response to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's finding that he derived undue benefit from the R246 million upgrade to his private home.

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 replying. Her recommendations included calling on him to repay a proportion of the state funds spent on the project.

The committee met only 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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