Mbete un­der fire for SABC re­port

She has no le­gal ba­sis to with­hold find­ings – DA

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - MAY­I­BONGWE MAQHINA

THE RE­PORT by Par­lia­ment’s le­gal ser­vices that iden­ti­fied people who mis­led the ad hoc com­mit­tee which probed mat­ters at the SABC will soon be re­ferred to the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

“The Speaker is con­sid­er­ing a wide range of is­sues per­tain­ing to the re­port. It is not gath­er­ing dust.

“She is pro­cess­ing it,” Par­lia­ment spokesper­son Moloto Mothapo said.

“Ul­ti­mately, at the ap­pro­pri­ate time, it will be re­ferred to the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee to be han­dled in line with the rules of Par­lia­ment,” Mothapo added.

This was after op­po­si­tion par­ties had de­manded that Mbete ta­ble the re­port.

The le­gal ser­vices handed the re­port to Mbete’s of­fice about a month ago, but it has yet to be tabled be­fore the na­tional leg­is­la­ture.

This has prompted the of­fi­cial op­po­si­tion to ac­cuse Mbete of re­fus­ing to ta­ble the re­port be­cause, ac­cord­ing to them, “its con­tents no doubt im­pli­cate a num­ber of her ANC com­rades”.

The DA has not only de­manded the tabling of the re­port, but has even filed an af­fi­davit.

“It is shock­ing that mem­bers of Par­lia­ment have to go to such lengths to gain ac­cess to re­ports em­a­nat­ing from their com­mit­tee work,” DA spokesper­son Phumzile van Damme said.

It was pre­vi­ously re­ported that Mbete had sought le­gal ad­vice and that she would first en­gage with the im­pli­cated par­ties.

Van Damme said Mbete’s duty to Par­lia­ment was above her role as chair­per­son of the ANC.

“Mbete doesn’t have any le­gal ba­sis for with­hold­ing the re­port, and her ex­pla­na­tion, of­fered in the Na­tional Assem­bly pro­gramme com­mit­tee, that the im­pli­cated per­sons were be­ing con­sulted doesn’t hold wa­ter.

“Par­lia­ment doesn’t have an obli­ga­tion to con­sult with those who lied to it,” Van Damme said, adding that Mbete was obliged to ta­ble this re­port to en­sure that Par­lia­ment per­formed its over­sight role and that those who lied faced the full con­se­quences of their ac­tions.

“The DA will not al­low those who lied be­fore Par­lia­ment to es­cape ac­count­abil­ity. We will con­tinue to put pres­sure on the Speaker to make this re­port pub­lic,” she said.

Cope’s Wil­lie Madisha said it was a pity that the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the ad hoc com­mit­tee’s rec­om­men­da­tions was hit­ting a snag.

“We, as the ad hoc com­mit­tee, have moved in uni­son at all times, but im­ple­men­ta­tion is not tak­ing place be­cause of this woman called the Speaker,” Madisha said.

“This whole thing of the SABC must be im­ple­mented. She (Mbete) must do her work or go home,” he said.

The com­mit­tee had found that in many in­stances, the ev­i­dence had been con­tra­dic­tory.

IN NO HURRY: Speaker Baleka Mbete is mulling re­port, it’s not col­lect­ing dust, says spokesper­son.

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