Nkandla ad hoc committee to find common ground

The Nkandla ad hoc committee will meet again today to try and pave a way forward.

FILE: The Nkandla ad hoc committee will meet again today to try and pave a way forward. Picture: City Press

CAPE TOWN - Opposition parties say they won't budge unless the mandate of the Nkandla ad hoc Committee is clearly spelt out.

Chief whips from the ANC and opposition parties are set to meet today to try and thrash out a way forward.

The first meeting of the committee on Friday ended in deadlock, when opposition MPs insisted they first wanted clarity on its mandate before agreeing to elect a chairperson.

ANC chief whip Stone Sizani's promised the mandate will be broad, but opposition MPs want a guarantee the Public Protector's report on Nkandla won't be sidelined.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen says this process needs an explicit undertaking.

"We want that explicit undertaking because it's not good enough to reply on people's word in the house. That is not a resolution and it creates far too much chaos if things become uncomfortable for that report to be taken off the table."

Freedom Front Plus chief whip Dr Corne Mulder says Sizani's promise should be made part of the committee's mandate.

Last week, 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 said his party won't agree with the ANC because while certain terms of reference of the committee haven't been clarified, the committee's mandate would become unclear.

The ANC in Parliament has accused the opposition of stonewalling.

The committee will have before it 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.