Which considers presidents of "alternative candidates" to parliamentary committees



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John Steenhuisen, Head of Whip da Denmark Photo: Tracey Adams / African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg – Following the announcement of the chairman of Parliament's portfolio committee on Wednesday, the Democratic Alliance says it will consider presenting alternative candidates to lead portfolio committees "to counter this attempt to retake Parliament."

John Steenhuisen, head of the Danish federation, says the appointment of former ministers such as Faith Muthambi, Mosebenzi Zwane, Bongani Bongo and former North-West Premier Supra Mahumapelo was shocking and a complete disrespect for South Africans.

Muthambi has been named chairman of the portfolio committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, while Bongo will chair the portfolio committee of Internal Affairs.

"Supra Mahumapelo, a Gupta acolyte who was basically expelled from the North West province, has now been cast on the tourism committee. Faith Muthambi, who helped run the SABC on the ground, is about to be in charge of overseeing the municipalities.

"Other strong Zupta allies who allegedly played instrumental roles in capturing the state, such as Mosebenzi Zwane and Bongani Bongo, are now in a privileged position to help capture Parliament," Steenhuisen said.

He said that President Cyril Ramaphosa's attempts to forge a New Dawn were now being hampered by the CNA's "faction failure lines" that opposed Ramaphosa on one side and CNA Secretary-General Ace Magashule on the other.

"The AD will therefore consider carefully the possibility of presenting alternative candidates to lead portfolio committees in order to counter this attempt to retake Parliament," says Steenhuisen.

The Undoing Tax Abuse Organization (OUTA) says it is deeply concerned about the "prospective deployment of several individuals with dubious backgrounds" in key positions in Parliament, adding that choices of poor committee chairpersons could hurt the sixth Parliament.

Matt Johnston, OUTA's Parliamentary Involvement Manager, said: "We are deeply concerned that many on this list have a bad track record and have serious and unresolved allegations of corruption against them."

"For example, OUTA has filed treason charges against Muthambi for sharing three confidential cabinet memoranda with the Guptas, and against Zwane for their involvement in the Vrede dairy project, but both have been nominated for critical positions."

Narend Singh, IFP's Whip Leader in Parliament, said they noted the inclusion of certain former ministers who "had already had challenges," but that it was the ANC's prerogative as the majority party to choose who wanted to lead portfolio committees. .

"Our members will serve on these committees and we will be monitoring their impartiality very carefully. We will call them to order if they are out of order in terms of ensuring that each member has the right to say what they want to say and to ensure that all departments that appear before these committees are carefully interrogated, "Singh says.

He says there is no way that committees can seize Parliament because the other members serving on committees should be wide awake, attentive and ask pertinent questions.

Political Bureau

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