Muthambi could face serious repercussions over committee snub

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Communications Minister Faith Muthambi answers questions during the ad hoc Parliamentary committee inquiry into the fitness of SABC members to hold office on December 14, 2016 in Cape Town.

CAPE TOWN - If Public Service and Administration Minister Faith Muthambi fails to head a summons to appear before the Parliament's oversight committee on Public Service and Administration Committee, she will be in contempt of Parliament. 

That is according to political analyst, Judith February, who was reacting to the minister's failure to account to the committee on Tuesday, to respond to allegations of nepotism and misuse of public funds. Muthambi did not provide reasons for her non-attendance, infuriating MPs.

Committee chair Makhosi Khoza said she wants to issue a summons to force Muthambi to appear before the committee and on Wednesday, Parliament issued a statement saying it intends doing so. 

READ: Minister will be subpoenaed after boycotting Parliament

Parliament will now engage its legal services to determine what the correct procedure for a summons is. 

February said there will be serious consequences if the minister does not follow the order.

“In terms of section 56 of the Constitution you can do that and Dr Khoza is well within her rights to do so and that is invoking the powers of 2014 section 12 and 14 in which a resolution will have to be drafted. Minister Muthambi will have to come to Parliament. If she fails to come to Parliament and fails which there will be in contempt of Parliament... and there are repercussions which flow from that," she said. 

 

 

"The Committee is disappointed that the minister did not honour an invitation to attend the meeting as scheduled. The decision to summon her was as a result of her disregard for the Committee, which borders on undermining the work of the Committee and Parliament as a whole," Khoza said in a statement released by Parliament on Wednesday.  

"The Committee reiterates its principled view that oversight and accountability form the bedrock of South Africa's constitutional democracy. In line with this, the Committee will ensure that the Executives are held to account for every action that is undertaken."