Speaker of Parliament Thandi Modise. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
Speaker of Parliament Thandi Modise. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Speaker reassures EFF over setting up intelligence committee

By siyabonga mkhwanazi Time of article published Sep 29, 2019

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Cape Town - Speaker Thandi Modise is under pressure from the EFF to set up the joint standing committee on intelligence or face legal action.

This comes after the EFF’s deadline passed last Friday without the speaker meeting its demand.

But spokesperson for Parliament Moloto Mothapo said the speaker has responded to the EFF and there was a process in place.

“There is a thorough process that is followed in terms of the act towards the establishment of such a committee and in this regard all the boxes are busy being ticked to ensure the committee is formed within the appropriate time frame,” said Mothapo.

“The speaker is prioritising this matter and she is confident that it will be finalised soon,” he said.

“A response has accordingly been forwarded to the EFF.”

The EFF wrote to Modise a few weeks ago warning that the intelligence committee should be established urgently to deal with intelligence and security matters of the country.

It said the country had not been able to pick up information on xenophobic attacks because of lack of intelligence.

This point that lack of intelligence was compromising safety and national security was raised by other parties in debates in Parliament.

The intelligence committee is the only oversight committee that has not been established by the national legislature.

Other committees have been operational over the last few months.

The EFF said it would take Modise to court if she failed to set up the committee by last Friday.

But the deadline passed.

The ANC took several months last year to appoint the new chairperson of the intelligence committee after President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Charles Nqakula as his national security adviser.

The intelligence committee holds its meetings behind closed doors.

Political parties have raised concern about lack of intelligence on many issues affecting the country.

They blamed this on the divisions in the intelligence structures.

Mothapo said the process would get under way soon to set up the committee.

The State Security Agency reports to the committee on its business.

Politics Bureau

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