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DA vows to make life 'uncomfortable' for new Parly committee chairs

Committee chairs elected on Tuesday include Bongani Bongo, Faith Muthambi, Mosebenzi Zwane and Sfiso Buthelezi, while former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo was elected to lead the tourism oversight committee.

FILE: Democratic Alliance's chief whip John Steenhuisen. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

CAPE TOWN - While the ANC has defended its decision to head up some key parliamentary committees with politicians implicated in state capture and other wrongdoing, the Democratic Alliance (DA) says it will lay complaints against them before Parliament’s ethics committee.

Committee chairs elected on Tuesday include Bongani Bongo for Home Affairs. Accused of trying to bribe the evidence leader in Parliament’s inquiry into state capture at Eskom, the former State Security Minister has already appeared before the ethics committee and is awaiting its findings.

Other ex-members of former president Jacob Zuma’s executive were also elected chairpersons yesterday, including Faith Muthambi, Mosebenzi Zwane and Sfiso Buthelezi, while former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo was elected to lead the tourism oversight committee.

DA objections and alternative candidates were comprehensively voted down as the ANC flexed its majority muscle. But DA chief whip John Steenhuisen says the party’s not going to let the matter rest.

“It’s going to be very difficult for many of these individuals to do the work that’s required to clean up and clean out the scourge of state capture that has characterised the last decade of South African politics… just because these are the very people themselves who were at the heart of the state capture project.”

Steenhuisen says the controversial new chairs now have a deep conflict of interest. Where these arise, he says the DA will insist that chairpersons recuse themselves.

“It’s an insult to the people of South Africa that people so fundamentally compromised have been elevated to these key positions and we’re not going to rest here. We will be lodging ethics committee complaints where appropriate, we will revive ethics complaints where these have fallen away in the fifth Parliament and we will continue to make it as uncomfortable as possible for these committee chairs.”