Nothing new in Sisulu remarks: ANC chief whip

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Independent Newspapers

Former National Assembly speaker Max Sisulu resigned as African National Congress Member of Parliament. File picture: Itumeleng English

Johannesburg -

There is nothing new in former Parliament speaker Max Sisulu's remarks that a new ad-hoc committee be formed to investigate the Nkandla report, the ANC chief whip's office said on Saturday.

This was despite the efforts in some media to peddle Sisulu's remarks as groundbreaking or newsworthy, spokesman Moloto Mothapo said in a statement.

Those in the media were doing so to drive a malicious and inaccurate impression the African National Congress was against the processing of the report by Parliament.

Mothapo said President Jacob Zuma had recently indicated he would provide the Speaker of the National Assembly with a final and comprehensive report within 30 days.

This would be after he received the provisional Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report into security upgrades at Zuma's Nkandla residence.

“...We have asserted that Parliament should await the President's full report to holistically process the matter,” Mothapo said.

Decisions taken in Parliament were of national importance and were always a consequence of a multiparty process in line with the institution's constitutional and legal obligations.

“They can neither be whimsical nor dependent on an 'individual's feelings',” he said.

When the previous ad hoc committee decided to refer its business to the fifth Parliament, due to lack of sufficient time to properly process it, the ANC committed it would ensure the new Parliament dealt with the matter thoroughly.

This was because the rules of the National Assembly allowed such a committee to be revived to continue with its business.

“The revival of the committee is not 'dictated' upon, but recommended to the new Parliament through the report of the ad hoc committee,” he said.

“The report of the ad hoc committee has not yet been dealt with by Parliament.”

On Friday, Sisulu told Beeld newspaper that Parliament's rules dictated that it must establish a new ad-hoc committee to investigate the Nkandla report.

“This is what parliamentary rules prescribe and it is not dependent on individuals' feelings,” he said in an interview.

Sisulu said that when the fourth Parliament ended, it was said a committee would be formed in the next Parliament to investigate the public protector's report on the R246 million spent on President Jacob Zuma's private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

The rules stated the new Parliament had to do it because the previous committee's work was not complete, he said.

However, Sisulu said he could not dictate to his successor, Speaker Baleka Mbete.

The committee Sisulu established was disbanded shortly before the May 7 elections.

As speaker he simply followed Parliament's rules by establishing the committee - the question was never over whether it should be established or not, he said.

He has since resigned from Parliament.

Asked whether the committee led to him not being re-elected speaker, he said he had had his time. - Sapa


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