The Congress of the People (COPE) has criticised the actions of the African National Congress (ANC) members of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for blocking the appearance of President Cyril Ramaphosa before SCOPA.
This after the Democratic Alliance (DA), the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the African Transformation Movement (ATM) suggested that the President should appear before SCOPA as they were not happy with his written response to the alleged misuse of state funds for party political activities.
This related to utterances made by the President in a leaked audio recording of an ANC NEC meeting.
When SCOPA met on Wednesday night, six ANC members against four from the DA, EFF and ATM voted for Ramaphosa not to appear before the committee.
COPE spokesperson Dennis Bloem says, “COPE is not surprised with the behaviour of ANC members serving on SCOPA to vote against a decision that President Ramaphosa must appear before SCOPA. History repeats itself.”
“ANC members of Parliament defended and protected former President Jacob Zuma in the scandalous Nkandla corruption saga when millions of taxpayers’ money was illegally used. It is totally disgusting and a shame that these ANC members can block the President not to appear before the committee to account to the public on taxpayers’ money. The ANC must tell the country what do they want to cover up.”
DA Member of SCOPA, Al Lees, says Ramaphosa’s utterances in the recording suggested each ANC NEC member knew that money often comes from state resources for party campaigns and to bus people around.
Lees says it was not good enough that the President says what he said in the recording was already in the Public domain.
Lees says the words used by Ramaphosa in the audio recording referring to “each one of us” – means he has information.
“It’s quite clear to me in any event that there is a personal knowledge here, “each one of us knows”. And so Mr chairman it is quite disappointing that the President has not addressed in any way, the particular aspect. And whilst I have already said that the direction to the SSA is very useful and it’s quite that we need to look at. It would appear to be some form of obfuscation and directing us a way of the main issue. And so Mr Chairman, I remain concerned the President hasn’t really taken our request for information seriously enough and we now need to very carefully consider and I am coming to the conclusion that we should ask President Ramaphosa to come and talk to us and answer some direct questions from us.”
In the video below, Ramaphosa said he has no problem appearing before SCOPA: