The Democratic Alliance on Tuesday (29/04/2014) announced it is seeking legal advice on the ANC’s decision to refer the Nkandla ad hoc committee’s work to the fifth Parliament.
“We will continue the fight to get answers and we will do everything possible to protect the integrity of Parliament,” DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko told journalists at Parliament.
“The DA will now seek legal advice on the ANC’s effective frustration of various constitutional principles through their conduct during the meeting of the ad hoc committee.
The ad hoc committee, which was set up to probe President Jacob Zuma’s response to the Public Protector’s damning report on R246 million security upgrades to his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal, was effectively dissolved on Monday through a majority vote by the ANC.
The ruling party claimed there was not enough time before the fourth Parliament dissolved at midnight on May 6 for the committee to do justice to the task at hand.
“It was an exercise in kicking for touch, and in doing so it undermined important constitutional principles,” said DA MP James Selfe.
“It must also be stressed that the ANC’s referral of this matter to the fifth Parliament is absolutely no guarantee that it will be acted upon.”
Selfe met the DA’s legal team on Tuesday to brief them.
“What we are asking them to do is to see whether the decision to disband the committee without having dealt with its terms of reference or even attempted to deal with its terms of reference constitutes a rational decision because all organs of state in South African are enjoined at all times to act in a rational manner,” Selfe said.
“The second aspect we are asking them to look at is the degree to which a request from an ad hoc committee in one Parliament can be made binding on the proceedings of the new Parliament and what steps we need to take in order to make sure the recommendation by the ad hoc committee that this matter be handed over, if you like, to the fifth Parliament is in fact given effect to and what steps we have to take to ensure that that in fact becomes enforceable.”
The Inkatha Freedom Party earlier responded to criticism that it had sided with the ANC because it agreed the matter be referred to the fifth Parliament.
“In our submission to the committee, the IFP recommended that, inter alia, the president… the public protector, and head of the Special Investigating Unit be invited to make submissions to the committee,” IFP MP Narend Singh said.
“It is evident, however, that this could not be done within the extremely limited timeframe given to the committee. There is no space for real interrogation of the matter at hand.”
Singh said the IFP would ask that the ad hoc committee be resuscitated at the first sitting of the new Parliament. – Sapa