Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance, John Steenhuisen, has demanded that Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete move swiftly and hold Minister for Social Development Bathabile Dlamini to account.
Dlamini, who is expected to explain herself to the Constitutional Court before the end of the month, will also be the subject of an investigation by the office of the Public Protector. Earlier this year, she was subjected to scrutiny by Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa).
All avenues have already been pursued to establish how the crisis at the South African Social Security Agency could have been allowed to develop under Dlamini’s watch.Was she just sleeping on the job or is there something more sinister that needs to be interrogated? Either way, she has ultimately failed to deliver on her mandate.
Steenhuisen and the Democratic Alliance want answers and consequences. The Chief Whip also believes that the onus is now on Speaker Mbete to ensure that Dlamini is held to account.
“The Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, must move swiftly to give effect to the Constitutional Court judgement that, on 17 March, instructed Parliament to hold Minister of Social Security, Bathabile Dlamini, to account,” said Steenhuisen on Sunday.
“The DA believes that the Speaker should, without delay, establish an ad hoc committee in accordance with the mandate set out in our notice of motion submitted on 15 March,” added Steenhuisen.
However, this is not just about what Steenhuisen or the Democratic Alliance want, but ultimately about what the Constitutional Court expects.
“Members of the Executive routinely shirk their constitutional duty to account to Parliament and the Speaker has become their ever-willing accomplice. Now, thanks to the integrity and impartiality of the Constitutional Court, time has run out for Dodging Dlamini and Mbete has been left with no choice but to call the minister to account. We suggest she studies the Constitutional Court judgement and establishes an ad hoc committee without delay.”