Let courts judge on Gordhan-Mkhwebane dispute, speaker chastens EFF | Fin24
 
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Let courts judge on Gordhan-Mkhwebane dispute, speaker chastens EFF

Jul 25 2019 15:31
Khulekani Magubane, Fin24

The Economic Freedom Fighters in Parliament tried to push Deputy President David Mabuza to take a stand in the standoff between Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan and Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane during his oral replies to the legislature on Thursday afternoon.

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi looked to use a supplementary question following from his fellow EFF MP Floyd Shivambu to ask the question, but National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise shut the line of questioning down as the matter is before the courts.

Shivambu asked whether Mabuza, as leader of government business in the National Assembly, intends to fast-track legislation that is currently in the works to regulate the establishment of intelligence services in government departments and state-owned entities.

This question comes in the context of a Public Protector report which concludes that Gordhan flouted the law in terms of the establishment of a covert unit at the SA Revenue Service during Gordhan's time as commissioner there.

Gordhan denies this and is challenging the report, which emanates from investigations Mkhwebane conducted at the EFF’s request. Ndlozi asked for Mabuza to share his views on the establishment of the so-called "rogue unit".

Modise said the matter was before the courts and it would, therefore, be inappropriate for Mabuza to comment on the merits of the case in Parliament. Ndlozi countered, arguing that the executive could not evoke sub judice to avoid answering a question in Parliament.

Modise maintained that the legislature could not be seen to be undermining the judiciary and ultimately allowed the EFF to get a comment from Mabuza in writing on the matter.

After a submission from Democratic Alliance chief whip John Steenhuisen, Modise agreed to refer the ruling on the supplementary question to the rules committee for consideration.

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