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‘Political solution’ proposed to resolve Muthambi no-show in Parly

The Public Service and Administration committee want to issue a summons to force Minister Faith Muthambi to answer questions on reports she wasted public funds.

FILE: Minister of Public Service and Administration Faith Muthambi. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - A “political solution” has been proposed to resolve the conflict between Minister Faith Muthambi and MPs over her no-show in Parliament this week.

The portfolio committee responsible for oversight of Muthambi’s Public Service and Administration Department wants to issue a summons to force her to answer questions on reports she wasted public funds on friends and family.

National Assembly House Chairperson Cedric Frolick met with committee chairperson Makhosi Khoza to discuss the issue on Wednesday.

Frolick says parliamentarians can avoid the lengthy legal process of issuing a summons if they find a political answer to the problem.

“That’s why I propose that we try to find a political solution involving discussions with the Speaker (Baleka Mbete) as well as the minister and the chief whip of the majority party… and take it from there.”

He says, in practice, a summons is only issued after an official or minister snubs a committee on more than one occasion.

“You don’t ask for summons or subpoenas to be issued in the first instance where there seems to be some disagreement.”

Muthambi was due to face MPs on Tuesday over reports that she spent nearly R500,000 on a trip for 30 friends and family members to Cape Town to attend her budget vote speech in May.

Her department has refused to comment on her no-show.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)