21 September 2017

South Africa: NDZ's Deployment Will Cripple Parliament

press release

The ANC's decision to deploy President Jacob Zuma's preferred successor, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to Parliament does not bode well for the effective functioning of the Legislature.

It is no secret that Zuma is seeking to re-assert his influence over the ANC caucus at Parliament after dozens of his MPs voted in support of the 8 August Motion of No Confidence in him.

Zuma seems unconcerned about the effect this move will have on Parliament where ANC infighting is already undermining parliamentary work.

The decision to send Dlamini-Zuma to Parliament also seems to precipitate yet another Cabinet reshuffle. Those members of Zuma's Cabinet who were outspoken in the run-up to the vote, and those who belong to the rebellious SACP, are certain to be in the firing line.

Dlamini-Zuma's elevation to MP and likely Cabinet minister seems to be a carefully orchestrated move to buttress her presidential campaign. It amounts to nothing less than state resources being used to support a candidate for the ANC presidency.

The DA sees Dlamini-Zuma for what she is - more of the same from the ANC. As a strong supporter and close family to Jacob Zuma, Dlamini-Zuma will only protect the president and his allies while deliberately ignoring the interests of South Africa and its people. Her interests only lie on protecting the corrupt and failed legacy of Jacob Zuma, the Guptas and the ANC.

We must also not forget Dlamini-Zuma's intransigence and contempt of Parliament in her former role as Minister of Health in 1995. Amid the scandal surrounding the exorbitant cost of production of the musical, Sarafina II, Dlamini-Zuma simply refused to present herself to the Portfolio Committee on Health. Worse still, ANC members serving on the committee stubbornly closed ranks and chose party loyalty over fulfilling their oversight function. This despite the Public Protector's damning findings a year later highlighting the mismanagement of tender procedures and unauthorised expenditure of foreign aid.

It's all too familiar and reminds of the shambles in the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration where a rebellion by ANC MPs targeting outspoken Chairperson, Makhosi Khoza, resulted in complete inertia. Indeed, Faith Muthambi's abscondment from Parliamentary oversight is straight out of the NDZ playbook.

The DA does not appreciate ANC infighting impacting on the People's business at Parliament. We cannot allow party politics to bring the Legislature to a grinding halt. Dlamini-Zuma's deployment to parliament is not being done in good faith.

John Steenhuisen MP

Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance

South Africa

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