DA To Lay Grievance Over Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Appointments

Several controversial MPs who have been elected chairpersons of Parliamentary portfolio committees face an uphill battle at the office.

The opposition DA says its going to lay a formal complaint with Parliament’s ethics committee.

These include the likes of former State Security Minister Bongani Bongo and former Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson.

They were among the 38 new chairpersons elected on Tuesday.

“We are here in Parliament to implement the resolutions and to support the policy positions of the ruling party and to support the head of the ANC and government,” said Bongo, who was elected to chair the home affairs committee.

Bongo, a former minister of state security, was accused in Parliament of offering a bribe during a 2017 inquiry into allegations of graft at power utility Eskom.

Parliament’s ethics committee is still looking into that. Asked about the ongoing investigation after his election on Tuesday, Bongo told journalists “No comment”.

Bongo has previously denied any wrongdoing.

Others elected to chair parliamentary committees, which play a powerful executive oversight role and process new laws, include former Zuma cabinet ministers Mosebenzi Zwane, Faith Muthambi and Joemat-Petterson.

Zwane has been linked by people testifying at the state capture inquiry and by opposition lawmakers to the Estina dairy farm project, which saw Zuma’s friends, the Gupta family, allegedly steal millions of rands for a wedding.

Zwane has previously denied any wrongdoing.

DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen said as an opposition party they couldn’t sit and watch “these compromised individuals” elevated into these key positions.

“How can it be that those who have evaded accountability and checks and balances for almost a decade, are now responsible for performing oversight and holding the executive to account?” he asked.


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