Response of the President to Parliament

11 June 2014

The Office of the ANC Chief Whip welcomes the indication by President Jacob Zuma that he intends providing the Speaker of the National Assembly with a comprehensive and final report within 30 days, following his receipt of the provisional Special Investigations Unit (SIU) report into security upgrades at the Nkandla residence.

This assurance, made in a letter to the Speaker, is consistent with an earlier undertaking made by the President that a comprehensive response to the Public Protector`s report would be made once all other reports on the matter have been considered. Once again, the President`s communication to Parliament illustrates the seriousness with which he regards the matter. It also affirms our long-held view that it would be in the interest of Parliament that it deals with the report of the Public Protector holistically rather than on a piecemeal basis.

Parliament has a responsibility to conduct its work thoroughly and diligently to ensure that the outcomes of its processes are of the highest quality, integrity and enjoys the confidence of the people.

We have further noted the response by the Speaker of the National Assembly to the request by the DA urging the Speaker to establish an ad hoc committee to consider the report of the Public Protector. We believe that the Speaker`s response is sensible and logical. Indeed the Speaker does not have the power in terms of the Rules of the Assembly to establish a committee of that nature while Parliament is in session.
Only a full sitting of the Assembly can take such a decision. The Speaker is only empowered to establish such a committee if the National Assembly is in recess.

The establishment of the previous Ad hoc committee, as well as its report, are yet to be ratified or considered by the sitting of the House. It is in this context that we find the DA`s request extremely bizarre, irrational and premature. It is perplexing that the DA would make such a frivolous request, and even threaten legal action, on a matter it knows well is in conflict with the rules and procedures of Parliament. No court will take such absurdity seriously.


Moloto Mothapo 082 370 6930