ANC MPs refuse to apologise to Madonsela

Chairperson refused to have apology request included in week's proceedings

When it comes to Madonsela, sorry seems to be the hardest word for ANC

14 April 2016

Parliament – ANC MPs on Parliament's justice committee on Thursday rejected renewed calls to apologise to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

Opposition party MPs expressed concerns that their calls for an apology were not reflected in the committee’s report.

The committee was on Thursday finalising budget reports for various departments and entities, including the Public Protector’s office.

DA MP Werner Horn said the apology request should be included in the report, as it was part of last week’s proceedings.

ANC MP and acting committee chairperson Chana Pilane-Majeke refused to have it included.

Madonsela presented her R263m budget to Parliament last week, when MPs first raised the issue of a public apology.

DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach said it was clear that those who objected were the ones who owed Madonsela an apology for her hostile reception from the committee in 2015.

She singled out ANC MPs Bongani Bongo, Pilane-Majeke, Loyiso Mpulwana, and committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga as the ones who needed to apologise.

"The committee was wrong to refuse to apologise, but nonetheless it should be included in the report," Breytenbach said.

ACDP MP Steve Swart agreed and called for it to be reflected.

ANC MPs refused.

The committee adopted the budget vote reports of the justice and constitutional development department and the Chief Justice’s office.Referring to the report on the latter, Horn raised what he called the "thorny issue" regarding the Chief Justice’s preference for a court administration model.

It would give the office more independence and would mean it would no longer account to the justice minister. Horn said that a lack of certainty was not good for both entities and the matter had to be finalised. Bongo said, as the issue was not raised during the budget and strategic planning meeting last year, it should not be included in the report.

"The last time it was discussed, it was a bit unclear whether the system the Chief Justice is proposing is in line with the Constitution itself."

He said there were no concrete proposals from the justice minister or the Chief Justice's office.

"I suggest that we don’t even touch it."

Pilane-Majeke said the MPs could raise it during budget vote debates next week. The Chief Justice's office was allocated a budget of R1.7bn for the 2016/17 financial year.

This article first appeared on News24, see here