Tag Archive | lindiwe mazibuko

Nkandla debate rekindled by DA

ANC played for time on Nkandla issue….

The ANC used its hefty majority in the last Parliament to filibuster any full debate on Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report on Nkandla by calling for such debate to be after the election and thus by a new ad hoc committee when and if the next Parliament formed such a body.

The DA has already called upon the new Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to enable a fresh ad mbetehoc committee to be formed and the debate re-started.

The committee was originally established by the now past Speaker of the National Assembly, Max Sisulu, to debate the R246m upgrade to President Zuma’s homestead in Kwa-Zulu Natal.   The Nkandla issue is at present an inconclusive subject relying purely upon Thuli Madonsela’s findings and not that of Parliament.

Delaying by inaction

The ad hoc committee was established in terms of ATC notice 45 of 2014, dated 9 April, and a delaying tactic was used by the ANC whilst it took eight days of the allocated ten day mandate for the sitting just to name its seven representatives on the ad-hoc committee.

Eventually, only two days of debate took place, the first to elect a chairperson who turned out to be Cedric Frolick of the ANC, with seven MPs from the ANC, two from the Democratic Alliance and one each from the IFP and FF+.    The ANC maintained at the first meeting that they had received insufficient time to study the report.

They referred to the fact that the then Speaker’s notice called for the ad hoc committee to make its findings known by April 30, the date already then being late April.   Again much time was wasted in the first meeting around the decision to allow a COPE party MP to attend the meeting, participate in the debate but have no vote. The COPE member appointed had a legal and constitutional background.

Give money back

The IFP said it wanted the President to be called to expand on why, when the Public Protector had “castigated government officials in the way they handled the Nkandla development” and called on him to refund large sums of money, “it was necessary to wait for the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to report before he responded”.   The IFP thought that the SIU should be called to Parliament as well to explain their findings.

The IFP questioned whether the committee would be able to give adequate attention to the matter by 30 April, time for input also being required from the Parliamentary legal advisors in summation. The DA also called for the Public Protector herself to give evidence, since she had already declared her willingness to do this.

President wanted by DA to appear

On the second day of debate, the DA, again represented by Lindiwe Mazibuko and James Selfe, called for the President himself to appear before the committee.   The IFP added the point that surely the President must have been aware of “things taking place in his back yard and… should not shy away from responsibility”.   The DA presented in writing a full programme for the committee to undertake urgently.

buti manamelaThe ANC, led by ANC  Buti Manamela, national secretary of the Young Communist League, then argued that the ANC also wanted to call certain parties to give evidence and as there was insufficient time left to handle all such visits, the DA’s suggestions were therefore impractical given the mandate of ten days.

To this the DA argued that they were only short of time because the ANC had taken eight days to nominate and co-opt members of the committee whereas all opposition parties had taken one day.   The ANC did not respond to this.

Mazibuko’s last appearance

In response to the ANC’s point that Thuli Madonsela, as Public Protector, had finished reporting and it was not for parliamentarians to query her findings,  DA’s Mazibuko said her party was outraged because the Public Protector herself admitted in her report there were a number of unanswered questions on which she was unable to get clarity. The DA said they would like her to articulate on this to Parliament.

Also, Mazibuko said, the President in his letter of response to the Speaker, Max Sisulu, had referred to “stark differences” between the findings of the Public Protector and the inter-Ministerial committee, which was also set up to investigate the issue.   Both therefore should also give evidence if the committee were to highlight what the President referred to as “differences”.

No time

At this point chair Cedric Frolick said there was indeed insufficient time left, whatever the reason, to undertake such a programme as envisaged by the DA.

After caucusing, the ANC members tabled a proposal for a vote that the matter should be closed for the present and left over for the fifth Parliament of South Africa to further, choosing not to vote on a DA proposal asking for the President to attend.    They said there was insufficient time before the elections took place and that opposition parties were “playing to the gallery” as part of electioneering.

Motion that President misled Parliament

The DA then asked that a further motion be adopted, if the debate was to be ended, demanding that the fifth Parliament investigate whether the President deliberately misled Parliament; whether he had violated the Constitution; whether he had benefited improperly from the work at his residence; any remedial steps to be taken and whether the President should be removed from office in terms of section 89 of the Constitution.

This motion was defeated by an overwhelming majority, the ANC arguing that the fifth Parliament could not be bound by such questions from outgoing members and the ANC motion instead was adopted….. “that although the ANC considered the matter as serious, there was insufficient time left and the matter be simply deferred for the fifth Government to decide on future action.”    This quashed any chance of further debate at the time.

Other articles in this category or as background
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//cabinetpresidential/business-interests-bill-to-control-corruption-with-tenders/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//cabinetpresidential/public-service-corruption-and-misconduct-could-hit-1bn-mark/

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DA’s Crucial Infrastructure Bill tabled on security

Crucial infrastructure points re-interpreted….

Lindiwe Mazibuko A draft Bill known as the Protection of Crucial Infrastructure Bill, has been tabled by DA opposition leader, Lindiwe Mazibuko, and presented to the Speaker of the House for debate.   It deals with the issue of key points, which emerged during the Nkandla scandal.

Whilst the Bill lists some ten issues it wishes to set as objectives, including the establishment of an independent crucial infrastructure board to create a register of areas declared as “crucial infrastructure”, the main point of the Bill becomes amplified by the final objective which states “to repeal of the National Key Points Act, no 102 of 1980 and related legislation.”

It is this legislation which the minister of public works and the minister of police both quoted when asked questions on the construction of the state president’s private home in Nkandla, Kwa-Zulu Natal.

A Private Members Bill may be introduced by any bona fide MP after submission to the Speaker for permission without reference to cabinet, Nedlac or any government department and may be tabled without a minister being involved.

Such a Bill would be subject to public hearings called for by Parliament before being debated by the relevant parliamentary portfolio committee.
Previous articles in this subject
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//uncategorized/more-tightening-up-in-security-industry/

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Business Interests Bill to control corruption

Bill exposes level of state corruption…..

Lindiwe MazibukoA Private Member’s Bill has been tabled in Parliament in an attempt to control state tendering corruption by Lindiwe Mazibuko, leader of the opposition, entitled the Business Interests of Government Employees Bill; a private members bill being an unusual procedure but perfectly acceptable in terms of the Constitution. The Bill gives as its background the seedy position in a number of government departments regarding government tendering processes.

The Bill, emanating from an MP and not the minister of a particular department as is usual, will have public parliamentary hearings in the course of public procedure but no departmental call for comment, although in this case the Bill is very much in the sphere of Lindiwe Sisulu, the public service and administration minister.

Going for the kernel

The Bill is hard hitting both in its language and its intentions and does not disguise the fact that it is specifically aimed at corruption and cronyism in the public service. In fact, it is so lacking in subtlety of wording one wonders if Lindiwe Mazibuko took it upon herself, in conjunction with the Speaker of the House (who has to be consulted before any private member’s Bill is accepted) to do something that the minister could not do without a palace revolution in her own department.

The minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, has been saying for some time that legislation might be one of the courses of action to be undertaken to fight corruption in public administration.

Lighting a fuse

The truth of the degree to which co-operation has been employed in the tabling of this Bill will no doubt come out in the portfolio committee debates during the passage of the Bill when the level of opposition can be measured, added to which there maybe, who knows, some submission from government departments in the hearings and from submissions, which have been called for since 13 June.

However, nobody will be able to disagree that something like this Bill is badly needed to stop the slippery slope of corruption that has become embedded in the South African public service. To stand against this Bill would be a difficult posture to adopt.

Govt employees only 5% interest

Basically the Bill demands a prohibition on any public servant or member of his or her family to hold more than a 5% interest in any entity that does business with the administration. Unfortunately, the Bill cannot be applied in retrogression as these are grounds found unacceptable constitutionally but public service employees around the country could be obliged to sign affidavits disclosing the extent that any members that they or their families have in an entity that conducts business with government, such affidavits having to be signed at prescribed intervals.

Similarly, those wishing to do business with government will have to sign a similar affidavit disclosing any interest that a government employee, a member of their family, may have in the entity tendering. Failure to comply will result in cancellation and a claim for damages and discipline against the family member concerned in public service.

Who is “family”?

The objects of the Bill state that the purpose is to stop the undermining of the quality service from government by public servants who are “inappropriately benefiting from government tenders”. In the definitions portion of Bill, which is no longer a draft as described in the media,  a “family” goes no further than siblings but all forms of marriages and unions are described.

Unusual listings

The background to Bill is most revealing and puts the facts up front for any debate on the Bill:-

*50% of Free State government contracts had been awarded to government employees or their immediate families, with 191 government employees benefiting from contracts worth R133m.

*In 2010, it is estimated that R624m of state money went to persons with direct links to public servants, to public servants families or persons with links to a spouse.

*R45m has been lost by the Easter Cape Health department due to irregular contracts with public servant family members.*A Special Investing Unit probe has revealed that close on 9,000 department of health officials are directors of a company and 1,000 of these openly to do business with the department, the report showing that R42.8 m had been paid to 235 employees.

*Over 3,314 employees of the department of education had engaged in business with the department in the past two financial years earning a combined R152m. Of these employees, 2,438 were teachers.

Only the brave…

The litany of horror continues and consequently, to object to the Bill would be to deny the facts. However, the implementation of such a Bill and to ensure its application at all levels will be the test and no doubt this is where the Bill may flounder.

The minister, it is proposed, may waive the 5% limit after considering an application by an employee. Consideration will also be given to the nature of the goods, adverse effects to the state if the tender or contract refused and possible adverse effects to the employee under certain conditions, but again such decisions must be taken by the minister.

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Business Interests Bill to expose government corruption

Bill tackles subject head on…..

lindiwe mazibukoA  Private Member’s Bill, entitled the Business Interests of Government Employees Bill has been tabled in Parliament by Lindiwe Mazibuko, leader of the opposition with object of fighting corruption in government;   a private members bill being an unusual procedure but perfectly acceptable in terms of the Constitution.

In other words, it emanates from an MP and not the minister of a particular department but in this case the Bill is very much in the sphere of Lindiwe Sisulu, the public service and administration minister. The public’s first opportunity to comment will come through public parliamentary hearings, there being no governmental departmental public draft stage.

Targeting corruption and cronyism

The Bill is hard hitting both in its language and its intentions and does not disguise the fact that it is specifically aimed at corruption and cronyism in the public service. In fact, it is so lacking in subtlety of wording one wonders if Lindiwe Mazibuko took it upon herself, in conjunction with the Speaker of the House (who has to be consulted before any private member’s Bill is accepted) to do something that the minister could not do without a palace revolution in her own department.

The minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, has been saying for some time that legislation might be one of the courses of action to be undertaken to fight corruption in public administration.

Opposition to Bill not known

The truth of the degree to which co-operation has been employed in the tabling of this Bill will no doubt come out in the portfolio committee debates during the passage of the Bill when the level of opposition can be measured, added to which there maybe, who knows, some submission from government departments in the hearings and from submissions, which have been called for since 13 June.

However, nobody will be able to disagree that something like this Bill is badly needed to stop the slippery slope of corruption that has become embedded in the South African public service. To stand against this Bill would be a difficult posture to adopt.

Over 5% interest not allowed

Basically the Bill demands a prohibition on any public servant or member of his or her family to hold more than a 5% interest in any entity that does business with the administration. Unfortunately, the Bill cannot be applied in retrogression as these are grounds found unacceptable constitutionally, but public service employees around the country will be obliged to sign affidavits disclosing the extent that any members that they or their families have in an entity that conducts business with government, such affidavits having to be signed at prescribed intervals.

Similarly, those wishing to do business with government will have to sign a similar affidavit disclosing any interest that a government employee, a member of their family, may have in the entity tendering. Failure to comply will result in cancellation and a claim for damages and discipline against the family member concerned in public service.

The objects of the Bill state that the purpose is to stop the undermining of the quality service from government by public servants who are “inappropriately benefiting from government tenders”.   In the definitions portion of Bill, which is no longer a draft as described in the media,  a “family” goes no further than siblings but all forms of marriages and unions are described.

The dreadful facts

The background to Bill is most revealing and puts the facts up front for any debate on the Bill:-

*50% of Free State government contracts had been awarded to government employees or their immediate families, with 191 government employees benefiting from contracts worth R133m.
*In 2010, it is estimated that R624m of state money went to persons with direct links to public servants, to public servants families or persons with links to a spouse.
*R45m has been lost by the Easter Cape Health department due to irregular contracts with public servant family members.
*A Special Investigating Unit probe has revealed that close on 9,000 department of health officials are directors of a company and 1,000 of these openly to do business with the department, the report showing that R42.8 m had been paid to 235 employees.
*Over 3,314 employees of the department of education had engaged in business with the department in the past two financial years earning a combined R152m. Of these employees, 2,438 were teachers.

Will it work in practice?

The litany of horror continues and consequently, to object to the Bill would be to deny the facts. However, the implementation of such a Bill and to ensure its application at all levels will be the test and no doubt this is where the Bill may flounder.

The minister, it is proposed, may waive the 5% limit after considering an application by an employee. Consideration will also be given to the nature of the goods, adverse effects to the state if the tender or contract refused and possible adverse effects to the employee under certain conditions, but again such decisions must be taken by the minister.

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