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Nkandla committee: ANC accuses opposition MPs of stonewalling

Opposition MPs insist they first wanted clarity on the committee's mandate.

FILE: The ANC in Parliament has accused opposition parties of deliberately trying to block the work of the ad-hoc committee on Nkandla. Picture: City Press.

CAPE TOWN - The African National Congress (ANC) in Parliament has accused opposition parties of deliberately trying to block the work of the ad-hoc committee on Nkandla.

The committee's first sitting today ended after only 30 minutes without electing a chairperson, which was the only item on its agenda.

Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) insisted they first wanted clarity on the committee's mandate.

An earlier committee was disbanded ahead of the May elections.

ANC MP Cedric Frolick says if the ruling party had used its majority to force the issue, it would have sent the wrong message.

"What is unfortunate is the levels of mistrust."

Opposition MPs refused to take the ANC's word that the committee will consider President Jacob Zuma's response and all the reports on Nkandla

The DA's Mmusi Maimane says, "We can't be meeting while certain terms of reference of the committee haven't been clarified otherwise the committee's mandate becomes unclear."

The ANC in Parliament has accused the opposition of stonewalling.

Frolick says he expects the issue to be resolved next week.

The committee will have before it Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report, which found that the president breached the executive code of ethics and recommended he repay some of the nearly R250 million spent.

It will also have the report by the government's task team, which exonerated Zuma, the Special Investigating Unit's provisional report and Zuma's response to Parliament submitted earlier this month.

The ad-hoc committee has until 24 October to report back to Parliament.