Chairperson of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Defence, Cyril Xaba, says they will soon summon Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to appear before the committee to account for the controversial trip of an African National Congress (ANC) delegation to Zimbabwe.
On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa reprimanded the Minister for using a military jet to give what she termed “a lift” to the ANC delegation to Harare.
Mapisa-Nqakula will lose three months’ salary to the Solidarity Fund established to fight the spread of the coronavirus and has to make sure the ANC reimburses the State for the trip.
President @CyrilRamaphosa has issued the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula with a formal reprimand for conveying an African National Congress (ANC) delegation to Zimbabwe on an South African Air Force (SAAF) aircraft. https://t.co/PV5yRu24bs
— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) September 27, 2020
However, opposition parties have rejected the President’s action saying it is insufficient given the gravity of the matter.
Xaba says the matter will be discussed in the committee’s next meeting.
“We have a responsibility as a committee of Parliament that when matters like this are in the public space we should not shy away from them. It is in that context that I’ve been requested to place the item on the agenda so at our first meeting we will call the Minister to explain her position in this regard and then the committee will then decide what it does next. That’s part of our oversight responsibility,” says Xaba.
Xaba says although they welcome the action that Ramaphosa has taken against Mapisa-Nqakula, they await the Public Protector’s report into the matter.
“The committee has taken note of the strong criticism against the Minister and that in the interest of good governance accountability and ethical leadership, the President directed the Minister who was permitted to go to Zimbabwe to meet her counterpart, to explain the circumstances that led to her giving a lift to the ANC delegation. We welcome the prompt and effective action to hold the member of the executive to account. It has been reported that the Public Protector has independently launched an investigation into the matter so we will await her findings,” says Xaba.
Below is the radio interview with Cyril Xaba:
In the video below, leadership expert Dr Mazwe Majola weighs in on Defence Minister Mapisa-Nqakula transgressing governance policies: