Lindiwe Sisulu has not accounted to Parliament and could face jail time

Issued by Manny de Freitas MP and Hannah Winkler MP –
15 Nov 2022 in News

Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, was summoned by the tourism portfolio committee to attend this week’s portfolio meeting to respond to a number of outstanding issues which fall under her purview. For the last four weeks the portfolio committee has been requesting that the Minister attend the meetings. In each instance, Minister Sisulu has submitted no apology or explanation as to why she did not attend the meetings.

It was therefore resolved at the Portfolio Committee meeting last week that the Minister be summoned to attend the meeting this week. Minister Sisulu instead sent a senior external legal counsel to represent her at the portfolio committee in response to the summons. The situation is unprecedented as the failure by Sisulu to attend the committee meeting constitutes a criminal act.

According to Section 55 of the constitution, the executive organs of state are accountable to parliament, and portfolio committees, as an extension of parliament, in order to exercise oversight. When the department is unable to account on certain issues, the minister will be required to provide an adequate explanation to the committee.

As a result of the minister’s failure to appear before the committee, and in an attempt to first address every avenue at its disposal, the Portfolio Committee resolved to officially write to the Speaker of Parliament on this matter. The letter will request the speaker to hold the Minister accountable for her failure to respond to the summons and attend the portfolio committee meeting, as this also constitutes a criminal act which could lead to a fine and even imprisonment up to 12 months.

As the DA we will hold Minister Sisulu to account. If she is unable and unwilling to act responsibility as Minister of Tourism, she must come clean with South Africans, and rather resign. To hold a position as a minister is an honour and she should take up her responsibilities seriously – serving South Africans should not be a secondary after-thought.