DA's DECISION TO APPROACH PUBLIC PROTECTOR REGARDING PRESIDENT AL BASHIR
23 June 2015
The Office of the ANC Chief Whip is dismayed by the DA's latest stunt relating to the recent visit by the President of Sudan, Omar Al Bashir, which seeks to abuse the Office of the Public Protector for narrow political ends. The decision by the DA to approach the Public Protector on this matter is driven by sheer political posturing which makes a mockery of this important Chapter 9 institution.
The DA has requested a snap debate on the matter, and Parliamentary parties will indeed this afternoon hold a debate on the topic to shed some light on it. The DA also has other oversight avenues in parliament to seek answers to the questions it might have regarding the circumstances surrounding President Al Bashir's visit. These include oral and written questions to the executive.
The Public Protector's office is inundated with an avalanche of serious, and sometimes desperate, complaints from the public, and the DA's political games would worsen the backlog and cause undue delays on legitimate cases from ordinary members of the public.
Furthermore, the matter of President Al Bashir's visit is a subject of an ongoing court process. If the DA respects and upholds our courts' jurisdiction and jurisprudence, as it often claims, it should allow the court process to run its course. The DA's decision to approach the Public Protector to do its dirty political job is tantamount to forum shopping, which floods multiple institutions of the state with vexatious complaints. It is a blatant abuse of the state institutions that unnecessarily strains their limited resources merely to garner few media headlines.
Statement issued by the Office of the ANC Chief Whip, June 23 2015