South Africa: Ramaphosa Q&A - Modise Refuses Maimane's Request for Urgent Question

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses Parliament (file photo).

National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise denied DA leader Mmusi Maimane's request to have an urgent question added to the questions that will be posed to President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday afternoon.

On Wednesday, Maimane wrote to Modise to ask her to add the question in terms of the rules that allow urgent questions in the National Assembly, due to begin at 14:00 on Thursday.

The question is: "Whether the appointments of Ms K P S Ntshavheni to the position of Minister of Small Business Development, Ms R T Siweya to the position of Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Mr F Mbalula to the position of Minister of Transport and Mr Z Kodwa to the position of Deputy Minister of State Security were informed in any way by the fact that both worked for, and received payment from his CR17 campaign?"

This, after leaked information related to Ramaphosa's campaign funding revealed that the ministers and deputy ministers reportedly received payment from the campaign.

In his letter to Modise, Maimane wrote: "This news broke in the Sunday Independent and City Press on Sunday 18 August, while the deadline for written questions submission was yesterday 20 August at 12h00. We were therefore not able to submit a question before the deadline and because this relates directly to the president's constitutional powers that may have been influenced, this matter is urgent. It is vital that this question be answered in tomorrow's oral question session in Parliament."

Missed deadline

According to a statement from Parliament released on Thursday, Modise declined this request.

An urgent question must be submitted to the speaker on or before 12:00 on the day before the question session. Maimane's question was submitted after 12:00.

"Furthermore, the National Assembly Guide, 2004, specifies that when considering an application for an urgent question it must be dealt with as if it is a request for a debate on an urgent matter of national importance. Accordingly, the request should not be granted if the matter can be considered by some other means in the near future," reads the statement from parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo.

Two of Thursday's six questions will be dealing with the subject of Ramaphosa's campaign funding.

Maimane will ask whether Ramaphosa intends to institute a "full-scale, independent inquiry, headed by a retired judge to be selected by the chief justice" - much like the Zondo commission - that will focus on Africa Global Operations (AGO), the company formerly known as Bosasa and "further investigate all allegations of state capture" that involve the company.

Bosasa boss Gavin Watson donated R500 000 to Ramaphosa's CR17 campaign, and Ramaphosa's answer to a previous question by Maimane on this matter last year, is ground zero for the current revelations about the campaign's funding.

Malema will ask for details of people in the Presidency and Cabinet who were involved with his fundraising, and for the details of funders he met at various fundraising dinners held for the campaign.

The sitting is scheduled from 14:00 to 16:30.

Source: News24

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