Nkandla: ANC MPs accuse opposition of delay tactics

The MPs could not agree on which findings and recommendations should be included in the Nkandla ad hoc committee's report.

The MPs could not agree on which findings and recommendations should be included in the Nkandla ad hoc committee's report.

ANC MPs have accused opposition parties of holding them to ransom after another request for more time to finalise their findings and recommendations for the Nkandla ad hoc committee report.

The committee met on Wednesday for the second day of deliberations this week in an effort to complete the work on Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s report on President Jacob Zuma’s KwaZulu-Natal homestead by the August 7 deadline.

But even with a shortened report and caucus meetings during the committee’s deliberations, the MPs could not agree on which findings and recommendations should be included, leading to an adjournment before the report could be finalised.

ANC deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude said the opposition parties were employing delay tactics after Inkatha Freedom Party MP Narend Singh asked for more time before the findings and recommendations could be finalised.

Singh said he and Freedom Front Plus MP Corné Mulder represented six other parties and had to consult and listen to their views before making decisions.

“And the views are that we are not prepared to go into the findings now. We feel that we need time, to look at the findings and come up with the list of findings. And if that is not agreed to, then why do we need findings at all and observations? The mandate of this committee was to look at the report of the minister of police and we have looked at it.
Are we not in a position to make recommendations?” Singh asked the committee. 

But he was not ready to submit any recommendations to the committee when asked to do so.

An irate Cedric Frolick, who chairs the committee, said he was not impressed with members not being ready with recommendations at this time of the process.

“It was part of the agenda that we will enter into these discussions and some members say they are not ready with the findings. How much more time do you need? Because to be fair to the meeting and the process, we need to get an indication by what time can we get the findings tomorrow morning? And whether there is agreement on this we will continue tomorrow after the questions to the president. We must be fair to each other really.”

ANC MP Thandi Mahambehlala said it was unfortunate that the parties could not find each other in dealing with the findings of the report.

“I feel, Chair, we are being held at ransom by the honourable members on the other side. It can’t be correct to say we must stall the process based on the fact that [Pan African Congress] members were not there. They are fairly represented. The fact that there was no communication or report back cannot be an issue of the committee. We cannot be held at ransom based on the fact that they have not met and briefed their counterparts.”

Frolick said he was perturbed at the waste of time so far and insisted that the parties submit proposals on findings and recommendations by 8am on Thursday, resolving to meet after the question session in Parliament.

“And I don’t care what happens in the House, by the way. We will continue with the meeting after the president’s question time and, if need be, we will meet on Friday as well. We cannot sit and waste each other’s time here.”

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