ANC Chief Whip is missing in action
Today's Chief Whips' Forum - the body that effectively runs Parliament - has again been cancelled at the last minute by the ANC's Chief Whip, Mathole Motshekga.
The Chief Whips' Forum is supposed to meet each week during parliamentary terms to allow party Whips to reach agreement on the parliamentary agenda and other matters. But Motshekga - who is paid R1.2 million per annum from the public purse - is hardly ever there.
This year the Chief Whip has missed 11 of 18 meetings (61%) that were convened in his name, leaving his former Deputy Chief Whip, Gratitude Magwanishe, to run the meetings.
On 12 June 2012, Magwanishe was promoted to Deputy Minister for Public Enterprises, leaving a gaping void in the ANC's parliamentary leadership that Motshekga appears unwilling to fill. Since Magwanishe's departure, Motshekga has cancelled the Chief Whips' Forum four out of nine times and has only been present three out of the five times it has met.
On 8 June 2012 I wrote to the Speaker to express my concern at the malfunctioning of this critical body of Parliament. The Speaker wrote to Motshekga to remind him of his duties to Parliament, but there has been no improvement.
The conduct and performance of Mr Motshekga is an absolute disgrace and should not be tolerated.
I have asked for an appointment with the Speaker during which I will raise the issue and again ask him to intervene to get Motshekga to do his job. We cannot have a situation where Parliament's internal functioning is compromised by the lack of commitment from one individual.
Statement issued by Watty Watson MP, Democratic Alliance Chief Whip, September 5 2012
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