The Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, must move swiftly to give effect to the Constitutional Court judgement that, on 17 March, instructed Parliament to hold Minister of Social Security, Bathabile Dlamini, to account.
The DA believes that the Speaker should, without delay, establish an ad hoc committee in accordance with the mandate set out in our notice of motion submitted on 15 March.
In its judgement, the Constitutional Court was unequivocal in finding that:
“The office-holder ultimately responsible for the crisis and the events that led to it is the person who holds executive political office. It is the Minister who is required in terms of the Constitution to account to Parliament. That is the Minister, and the Minister alone.”
Mbete’s indefensible bias and slavish commitment to protecting the Executive facilitated, at least for a while, the most extraordinary evading of accountability in the Nkandla matter, until the Constitutional Court put an end to it.
More recently, and without Constitutional Court intervention, an ad hoc committee established to probe the shambles at the SABC forced Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi, to finally account for her role in the crisis.
It is our hope that the good faith and multi-party cooperation shown in this committee can be replicated, and that Dlamini can finally be forced to account to Parliament, as ordered by the Constitutional Court.
Members of the Executive routinely shirk their constitutional duty to account to Parliament and the Speaker has become their ever-willing accomplice. Now, thanks to the integrity and impartiality of the Constitutional Court, time has run out for Dodging Dlamini and Mbete has been left with no choice but to call the minister to account. We suggest she studies the Constitutional Court judgement and establishes an ad hoc committee without delay.