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Parliament - Parliament has been left to consult its rules in handling questions to Deputy President David Mabuza on the “rogue unit” at the South African Revenue Service.

The Sars matter is playing itself out in the courts but Mabuza was under pressure from the opposition on action against Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan who is locked in a legal battle with Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane over the adverse findings she made against him.

In the question and answer session in the National Assembly on Thursday, MPs were left scrambling on the handling of the “rogue unit” issue as it was in court.

The EFF and DA were demanding that Mabuza answer on whether he will take action against Gordhan for the setting up of the “rogue unit” at Sars.

But Speaker Thandi Modise jumped in and said the matter was sub judice and Mabuza could not answer the question. 

“The truth of the matter is that this matter is not only in front of the court, it is pending in court,” said Modise.

The EFF insisted there was nothing that prevents Mabuza from answering the question irrespective that the matter was in court.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said the issue should be referred to the rules committee.

“The sub judice rule does not apply we are not discussing the merits,” said Steenhuisen.

Mabuza also told Parliament that the country’s intelligence agencies were doing their work properly.

He said there was no security threat to the stability of the country.

Both defence intelligence and state security were up to speed with national security matters, said Mabuza.

“Our defence is doing very well. There are issues that might crop up from time to time, but that does not mean our intelligence structures are ineffective,” said Mabuza.

The deputy president also said they were fixing ailing municipalities following the damning report of the auditor-general recently.

They have put a number of struggling municipalities on their radar.

The government has set up a team that will work with municipalities to help them, said Mabuza.

There was an intervention to help farmers who have been hard hit by drought.

He said more than R250 million has been given to the farmers. The aid to farmers did not end with the cash but with equipment and fodder.

The agriculture industry has been battling for some time. Mabuza said they would work with premiers, MECs for agriculture and mayors to help in drought-stricken areas.

Political Bureau