Poor committee chair choices could hamstring 6th Parliament
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) is deeply concerned about the prospective deployment of several individuals with dubious backgrounds into key positions in Parliament.
The ANC list of proposed committee chairpersons which was released yesterday include state capture suspects Faith Muthambi, Mosebenzi Zwane, Tina Joemat-Pettersson and Supra Mahumapelo.
“We are deeply concerned that many on this list have a poor track record and have serious, unresolved allegations of corruption against them. For example, OUTA has laid charges of treason against Muthambi for sharing three confidential Cabinet memoranda with the Guptas, and against Zwane for his involvement in the Vrede diary project, yet both have been appointed to critical positions,” said Matt Johnston, OUTA’s Parliamentary Engagement Manager.
According to the list Muthambi is to be appointed chair of the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) committee, which is a crucial portfolio given the collapse of several local and provincial government institutions. “If we are to shift the needle of social and economic progress we need to concentrate our efforts in closing the gaps that exist in local government. Municipalities are key in addressing issues that directly affect citizens and a crucial portfolio such as CoGTA requires decisive and ethical leadership,” added Johnston.
The transport committee has been inflicted with the tainted Zwane, who allowed the infamous Gupta family to almost get away with looting mine rehabilitation funds worth about R1.7bn. OUTA halted this daylight robbery by taking the matter to court.
Other red flags include Home Affairs led by Bongani Bongo, Appropriations headed by Sfiso Buthelezi and Finance which will be chaired by Joe Maswanganyi. “These committees have a fundamental role to play in ensuring accountability in the public sector and government must seriously and urgently reconsider the deployment of persons with questionable integrity,” said Johnston.