ANC rejects motion for debate on ‘Nkandlagate'
In today's Chief Whip's Forum meeting, the ANC rejected my notice of motion for debate on the ‘Nkandlagate' scandal to be held on Tuesday, 12 March 2013. This is despite the DA being allocated the space in the programme to have one of its motions debated on this day.
When we proposed as an alternative the motion by DA MP Anchen Dreyer on the constitutionality of the National Key Points Act, this was also rejected by the ANC MPs on the committee. This position is equally problematic given that Deputy Minister of Public Works, Jeremy Cronin, has himself admitted that this archaic act is unconstitutional.
It is evident that the ANC are determined to do everything possible to protect President Jacob Zuma from scrutiny on this matter.
The DA will be raising this decision to block our motion at the National Assembly Programming Committee meeting tomorrow and we hope that the Speaker of the National Assembly, Max Sisulu will intervene.
I had previously requested that the Speaker grant a Debate of Public Importance on the matter as he is empowered to do in terms of the Rules. The Acting Speaker at the time, Nomaindia Mfeketo, rejected this request on the argument that the DA had other options available to debate Nkandla - including notices of motion. This was clearly just an effort to prevent the debate from happening, given that her own party has now blocked the very motion she recommended I table for debate.
The ANC cannot have it both ways. For as long as the spending of R206 million on President Zuma's private residence goes unchecked, this scandal will remain a symbol of the government's failure to fight corruption.
The time for Parliament to act on behalf of all concerned South Africans is now. The ANC in Parliament should spend more time holding the executive accountable, and less time defending the indefensible.
Statement issued by Lindiwe Mazibuko MP, DA Parliamentary Leader, March 6 2013
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