DA lashes out at Zuma for setting an Inter-Ministerial Committee to probe Melefe’s return

DA lashes out at Zuma for setting an Inter-Ministerial Committee to probe Melefe’s return

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has lashed out at President Jacob Zuma for setting up an Inter-Ministerial Committee to “gather facts” about the return of Brian Molefe to Eskom.

DA’s Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, Natasha Mazzone said Zuma has proven that he undermines the Parliament by setting up a Ministerial Task Team that consists of “all Ministers firmly behind Zuma, and many with their own reputations of being captured”.

“Zuma’s announcement that an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) will be established to investigate the very serious problems at Eskom, rather than Parliament, as the body mandated to oversee and ensure the smooth running of the entity, has flatly undermined Parliament,” said Mazzone.

“The President is clearly deathly scared of the evidence which will emerge from a full-scale and transparent Parliamentary Inquiry,” added Mazzone.

Zuma on Thursday decided to set up an inter-ministerial committee to “gather facts” about Brian Molefe’s return to Eskom.

Zuma on Thursday announced that he will set up an IMC to assist in gathering facts about the return of Molefe to the parastatal.

In a statement released by the presidency, Zuma said the presidency together with his cabinet is concerned by what is happening at Eskom.

“Cabinet is concerned about the recent developments at Eskom. Cabinet appreciates that the matter regarding the re-employment of Mr Brian Molefe as the Chief Executive Officer of Eskom is before courts and in Parliament, and shall therefore respect these processes,” said the Presidency.

The IMC set by the president is made up of: Ministers of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, Energy, Mmamoloko Kubayi, Finance, Malusi Gigaba, and Justice and Correctional services, Michael Masutha.

Two weeks ago, Molefe resigned as an ANC MP and returned to the power utility as CEO. He had resigned in November 2016 after he was named in the public protector’s State of Capture report.

Earlier on Thursday, Brown announced an inquiry into alleged corruption at Eskom. It would likely be conducted the Special Investigating Unit and overseen by a judge.

Briefing reporters before her budget debate, Brown said since South Africa first experienced rolling blackouts in 2007, there had been at least seven investigations into alleged maladministration and corruption at the utility. Several of these were commissioned by Eskom’s board and they culminated in the State of Capture report, which was released in November last year.

By Senzile Kubheka

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Molefe’s swearing in is bad for SA- DA

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has expressed its disapproval of former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe’s swearing-in as an African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament (MP).

DA’s Shadow Minister of Finance David Maynier, said Molefe’s swearing-in was a disgrace and is a major escalation in the civil war within the ANC and the battle for control of National Treasury, being driven by President Jacob Zuma

“We cannot be sure but it will presumably not be long before Brain Molefe is appointed to the finance committee to serve time before being appointed as the deputy-minister of finance with a view to controlling the R1.8 trillion managed by the Public Investment Corporation,” said Maynier.

Maynier also said they fear the predicament which will follow in South Africa if Molefe gets a position in the finance family.

This follows after speculations that ANC MP Makhosi Khoza was redeployed from the Finance Committee to make way for Molefe.

“The fact is that appointing Brian Molefe to any position in the ‘finance family’ presents a clear-and-present danger to the institutional independence of National Treasury and will be bad for South Africa,” he said.

“The Guptas will be delighted because, if the State of Capture report is anything to go by, and Brian Molefe is eventually appointed to a position in the ‘finance family’, they will finally have National Treasury, the Public Investment Corporation and South African Airways on ‘speed dial’,” Maynier added.

Molefe was on Thursday morning in the Speakers office, sworn in as an ANC Member of Parliament

Molefe was said to be nominated by the ANC in North West, however it has been controversial as branch leaders in Hartbeespoort have questioned whether he is a member or not.

The official announcement is expected to be made when the National Assembly sits on Thursday afternoon.

Ndlozi disses Parliament lawyers

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) National Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has indirectly requested the Parliament’s Ad Hoc Committee conducting the SABC inquiry to shy away from using Parliament lawyers for the court battle of Friday.

The Ad hoc committee earlier on Tuesday held a preparatory meeting for the SABC inquiry.

It was during the meeting that Ndlozi said he doesn’t “trust parliament lawyers” as he has emerged victorious over them a number of times.

“Personally you know I don’t trust Parliament lawyers, well I have beaten them a lot in court, I don’t want to be beaten this time on Friday, I have to win,” said Ndlozi.

He added: “I’m always part of the winning team”.

The ad hoc committee is set to battle a court interdict application brought by the remaining SABC Board member, Chair Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe.

Maguvhe wants Parliament’s Ad Hoc Committee to be “disqualified and reconstituted” from conducting the inquiry.

He wants the court order to instruct that the committee on the SABC should be suspended and prohibited from continuing to perform the inquiry.

Last month the SABC board was summoned to account for its controversial appointment of former Chief Operations Officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng to Group Executive of Corporate Affairs.

Following the meeting, the portfolio committee resolved to institute an inquiry into the fitness of the broadcaster’s board.

The ad hoc committee is now set to resume their inquiry next week.

MPs lash out at Mkhwebane for refusing to participate in the SABC inquiry

The Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee has slammed Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane for refusing to appear in front of the committee members to defend the report on Ethics and Governance.

The ad hoc committee which is set to resume its inquiry on the fitness of the SABC board to hold office requested a number of individuals including Mkhwebane to participate in the inquiry.

However committee members lamented of the manner in which Mkhwebane responded to the parliament’s invite to have her to participate in the inquiry.

Democratic Alliance (DA)’s Phumzile van Damme said she is worried about Mkhwebane’s response to the committee.

“Reading through the correspondence I am very, very worried about the manner in which she has responded to the committee,” said van Damme.

“At first she said she doesn’t understand why this ad hoc committee is continuing with its work when there is only one board member left and then she said it is really her prerogative to decide whether  or not she must come to parliament, and now  she suggest that her staff member mustn’t  appear in front of camera’s,”she added.

Van Damme said lashed out at Mkhwebane and said the committee should not agree with her correspondence and added the Public Protector’s report is in the public domain and Mkhwebane’s office should be able to defend and speak about the report.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said Mkhwebane has addressed them in a disrespectful manner

“The new Public protector must be told in no equivocal terms that this is the institution that constitutionally she reports to, if this institution wants her t come and speak on certain matter, unfortunately it part of her job description to appear,” said Ndlozi.

He then firmly said “the Parliament is her boss, Finish and Klaar!”.

The Ad hoc committee earlier on Tuesday held a preparatory meeting for the SABC meeting and there, they resolved that they are now going to summon individuals and public institutions that are refusing to participate in the inquiry.

The SABC inquiry is set to begin on Tuesday at 2pm.

By Senzile Kubheka

ANC veterans urge ANC MPs to support DA’s Motion against Zuma

African National Congress (ANC) veterans have urged ANC Members of Parliament to vote with the Democratic Alliance on their Motion of No Confidence against President Jacob Zuma.

ANC stalwart and member of the uMkhonto weSizwe high command, Mavuso Msimang said the motion is an opportunity for the ANC mps who want to run the organisation accordingly.

“When our President gets so errant you would expect that a living organisation would find a way of gracefully removing him,” said Msimanga

“On the NEC there are people who want the ANC to run according to its traditional values, they’re drowned by a cacophony of noise that’s coming from people who have everything to lose if Zuma went. So will find ourselves having to oppose the DA because it’s the DA, yes I would say we should vote for the removal of this person,” he added.

DA’s Motion of No Confidence against Zuma confirmed

The DA is set to continue with their Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma debate.

DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen confirmed that National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete had decided to schedule the debate, he said he received a written confirmation from Parliament.

This follows after the Party said it would resort to legal actions since the Parliament had failed to schedule their debate.

The DA’s no confidence debate was ignited by the release of the State Capture report which has implicated that the President has some shady dealings with the controversial Gupta family.

Following the release of the report and its revelations, African National Congress members, Opposition parties and civil society groups have been calling on Zuma to resign.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said: “This is not a DA motion. This is not an ANC motion. This is a non-partisan motion that affords all 400 members of Parliament the opportunity to either speak for the people, or to protect Jacob Zuma and his corruption. The President was elected by Parliament, and thus must be removed by Parliament”.

The motion of no confidence debate is scheduled to take place on Thursday.

Nehawu not halting parliament strike over bonuses

 

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has vowed it will not halt with its strike action against the Parliament for backing away from an agreement to pay workers performance bonuses.

This is after the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) on Monday found no evidence that the Parliament’s management acted with malice or irrationally when reducing the bonus payments of employees.

The CCMA further insisted that both the parties must continue negotiating the issue internally.

In 2015 Nehawu approached the CCMA to request the declaration of Parliament’s review of performance scores of employees as “unfair labour practice”.

And the issue of performance bonuses gave rise to a month-long strike by parliamentary support staff since last year.

Nehawu’s Provincial Secretary Eric Kweleta said they will be taking the matter up internally as there are still individuals who are not pleased with their performance payouts and the suspension of five workers pending disciplinary action.

“The CCMA just reaffirmed our position that this is depute resolution process that are there. They’ve since instructed both parties must by the end of September resolved their thing.”

“There are no winners or losers there. The CCMA just reaffirms that both parties must address this thing internally and resolve it by 30 September,” added Kweleta.

On the other hand, the Parliament said it believes that the ruling will be an indication to the union that officials acted in good faith

“The ruling by CCMA is a thorough vindication of the position of Parliament in its submissions and public pronouncements. Parliament’s management acted in good faith in its engagement with employee issues. It also exposes the unreasonableness of the local branch of Nehawu and those that joined in the unfair condemnation of Parliament,” said the Parliament.

The Parliament added it hopes that the ruling will close the current chapter of negative engagement.