South Africa’s ministers who formed part of Nkandla mess have been roped to the dancing floor by opposition parties. Following this act by opposition groups, the ministers must now face and equally dance to the music of the law.
Plans to have the ministers pulled into President Zuma’s controversial Nkandla case got underway after leaders of some opposition groups met with National Assembly speaker, Baleka Mbete and Parliament’s presiding officers on Wednesday.
The meeting, which was requested by Speaker Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise had political party leaders and whips in attendance. The leaders include, African National Congress’s Jackson Mthembu, the Democratic Alliance’s Mmusi Maimane, the Economic Freedom Fighters’ Floyd Shivambu, the Congress of the People’s Willie Madisha and the National Freedom Party’s Nhlanhla Khubisa, who filed into the Speaker’s boardroom on Wednesday morning.
Airing his view during the crucial meeting, Freedom Front Plus leader, Pieter Mulder, asserted that Parliament’s ethics committee must probe whether the ministers misled Parliament, “because surely there’s an executive code that says they’re not allowed to mislead parliament”.
Speaking also, the Inkatha Freedom Party’s Narend Singh agreed parliament must probe the ministers. He said, “we need to do research in this regard because there’re processes to deal with that.”
Also, Economic Freedom Fighters Chief Whip, Floyd Shivambu, maintained that Parliament must ensure that all the Public Protector’s directives were adhered to.
“We as Parliament must write to the president before he leaves and to whoever has been mentioned in the remedial action to start implementing other remedial actions,” Shivambu suggested.
The Democratic Alliance MP, John Steenhuisen made it clear that MPs must probe whether the president and his Cabinet ministers misled Parliament on the Nkandla mess.
“Parliament cannot credibly say we hold an executive accountable if the head of the executive can come to Parliament and say things that are misleading and untrue and expect the legislature to just lap it up,” Steenhuisen asserted.
Reacting to the leaders views, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete said she would consider all of the proposals. But she however stated that she needs to consider whether Parliament can legally discipline the president, who ceased to be an MP when he took office.
“A point was also raised that the rules do apply to him when he is in the House, so these are all the issues we are applying our minds to,” Mbete related.
EFF’s Shivambu however said National Speaker Baleka Mbete has promised a comprehensive response to his party.
Nkandla Mess Report
Last year, Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko and Public Works Minister Thulas reported to a Parliamentary ad hoc committee on the Nkandla project, that majority of African National Congress (ANC) Members of Parliament in the National Assembly had agreed to absolve President Jacob Zuma of financial liability for the upgrades in his Nkandla homestead.