DA seeks changes to law to prevent another Nkandlagate
Several private members’ bills and debate requests will be submitted to Parliament on the reported R250 million upgrade of President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has said.
The DA would submit, among others, proposed amendments to the National Key Points Act, which the party said was being misused to “hide details of the upgrade”.
DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said today the act needed to be amended to narrow the definition of a national key point.
“This would ensure that the minister (of public works) would not be able, as is currently the case under section 2 (of the act), to declare (on the basis of) expediency only … It has to be proven to be necessary for national security.”
DA MP Athol Trollip intended resubmitting a private members’ bill proposing changes to the Executive Ethics Act, which would give the public greater access to the president’s declaration of interests.
The bill was rejected before it could be tabled earlier this year.
The DA would be able to now table it directly to Parliament, after this month’s Constitutional Court judgment setting aside parliamentary rules that required MPs to get permission from the National Assembly Speaker before submitting legislation.
Mazibuko said the decision by Deputy Speaker Nomaindia Mfeketo to disallow debate on Nkandla would be challenged at the next meeting of Parliament’s oversight authority.
The DA said it was not unaware of the fact that it would have to get some ruling party support to push the debate on Nkandla through.
“I think there are enough opportunities to make our case, to ensure ANC members go into this with an open mind.”
She said she had no doubt the ANC’s elective conference, set to take place in Mangaung in December, could weigh heavily on MPs’ minds.
“I think there are some who will see it in their political interests to rally around the president, and I think there are others who might view it in their political interests to hold him accountable.”