The Democratic Alliance (DA) has said that the parliamentary committee chairperson candidates announced by the African National Congress (ANC) on Wednesday show clearly the “factional fault lines” within the governing party.
However, during the press briefing announcing the governing party’s candidates for parliamentary committee chairpersons, the claim was dismissed by ANC Chief Whip Pemmy Majodina and secretary-general (SG) Ace Magashule.
DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen said the ANC’s candidates for some of the committees are shocking and show a complete disregard for the people of South Africa.
“Supra Mahumapelo, a Gupta acolyte who was basically chased out of the North West province has now been slated for the Tourism committee. Faith Muthambi, who helped to run the SABC into the ground is now about to be put in charge of oversight over municipalities. Other strong Zupta allies alleged to have played instrumental roles in the capturing of the state, such as Mosebenzi Zwane and Bongani Bongo, are now in prime position to help capture parliament,” Steenhuisen said.
Zwane was nominated to chair the portfolio committee on transport and Bongo that of home affairs.
“It is clear that Ramaphosa’s attempts at forging a new dawn are being hampered by the ANC’s factional fault lines – with Ramaphosa on one side and Ace Magashule on the other. The Magashule faction won this fight, and will do all it can to undermine all attempts at building a better South Africa for all,” Steenhuisen added.
The DA chief whip said the party will “carefully” consider putting forward alternative candidates “in order to fight this attempt at once again capturing Parliament”.
During the briefing, Majodina said those deployed to chair the parliamentary committees who had faced allegations had appeared before the ANC integrity commission and had been “cleared”.
“If there is any other matter … of a member that has done anything against the law … that process cannot hold us back, not deploying comrades, because we believe on the assumption of innocent until proven guilty,” Majodina said, reiterating that these candidates had appeared before the integrity commission, “all of them”.
Majodina further said Bongo had appeared before parliament’s ethics committee since 2017 and that he at some point approached the courts to intervene so the matter could be put to rest.
Bongo appeared before the ethics committee on allegations that he allegedly attempted to bribe an evidence leader in a parliamentary probe into allegations of state capture at state utility Eskom.
“Unfortunately, this morning we have received a response from the court where the court is saying they cannot instruct parliament, they cannot give deadlines to parliament to complete this matter,” Majodina said, adding that it is parliament that must release the findings of the ethics committee.
The ANC will now meet with Speaker of Parliament Thandi Modise to request that the findings of the ethics committee on Bongo’s matter are released, Majodina said.
The ANC chief whip said when the party deploys its members to certain positions, factions are inconsequential because those “deployed” today “are members of the ANC who came out during the process of the list conference”.
“And therefore, when we deploy them, we deploy them based on their experience, capacity, new people that have just come in, women, youth – try to balance – not really being led through factional groupings, we did not consider that,” Majodina said.
Magashule rubbished reports that he had attempted to capture the parliamentary committees with an “SG’s list”.
Over the weekend, a report in the Sunday Times detailed how Ace Magashule allegedly travelled to Cape Town last Wednesday and planned to announce new appointments to chair parliament’s portfolio committees the following day – despite this not being cleared by the national leadership.
Magashule reportedly attempted to “capture parliament” through a caucus meeting while Ramaphosa and key cabinet members were attending a lekgotla in Pretoria.
The postponement of the candidates’ announcement last week was borne of the need to engage with ANC alliance partners, the SG said on Wednesday.
“The product which I had last week was the product of the national officials of the ANC, not the SG,” Magashule said.
The ANC SG echoed Majodina that factional issues were not considered when the list of candidates was drawn up.
Magashule further blasted media reports that “the SG is going this and the president is going this way”, saying officials of the governing will always work as a collective.