24 January 2013

South Africa: Democratic Alliance Challenges Motshekga to Put Interests of All South Africans Ahead of Zuma

press release

ANC Chief Whip, Dr Mathole Motshekga, must get on with his job as a member of Parliament and ensure that he puts the best interests of all South Africans ahead of his concerted campaign to protect President Zuma from accountability at all costs.

In response to a letter directed to President Zuma from DA Parliamentary Leader, Lindiwe Mazibuko, Dr Motshekga urged President Zuma not to respond and rejected flatly the DA's call for Mr Zuma to show more decisive leadership in ending what seems to be an interminable barrage of aggressive and irresponsible language from his own party.

These actions from the ANC will have a negative impact on much needed investment in South Africa, which the President is currently encouraging at the World Economic Forum this week. Without this growth South Africa will not create the millions of jobs that our people need to deliver a final and decisive blow to poverty and inequality.

Is Dr Motshekga not worried about unemployment? Is he not concerned about the potential further job losses if the economy does not grow?

The answer is simple. Dr Motshekga views his role in Parliament as concentrating on one thing, and one thing alone: to protect President Jacob Zuma at all costs.

The pattern is there for all to see:

In October 2012 he abused the processes of Parliament to provide President Zuma with a keynote address at the Inter-faith Council, which was clearly an opportunity to allow for pre-Mangaung campaigning. This cost South Africans R2.1 million.

In November 2012 he unconstitutionally sought to block the motion of no confidence in President Zuma tabled by Ms Mazibuko, and supported by eight other political parties represented in the National Assembly. It was only after the ANC NEC intervened that he changed his position at the last minute.

Just this month, he failed to provide a commitment that questions to the President would be scheduled for this parliamentary term as required by the rules of Parliament. The fact that the questions are yet to be scheduled is concerning.

Dr Mothekga and the party he represents would do well to get on with the business of getting Parliament working for all South Africans, by ensuring that every member of the executive, including the President, is held accountable for their actions.

This is the oath he took when he became an MP. It is time he remembered it and put what is best for South Africans ahead of what is best for Mr Zuma's political career.

Watty Watson, Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance

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