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Fri Sep 04 07:52:58 SAST 2015

Parliament should appoint justice officials: DA

Sapa | 25 November, 2012 14:36
Helen Zille speaks at the DA Federal Congress 2012 at the Birchwood Conference Centre in Boksburg on the East Rand. File photo.
Image by: JAMES OATWAY

The Democratic Alliance resolved on Sunday to propose amendments to the constitution which gives President Jacob Zuma the sole power to appoint the national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) and the national police commissioner.

"The two previous national police commissioners have been relieved of their duties due to corruption allegations and the current police commissioner allegedly has two conflict of interest allegations and has shown a lack of leadership," the party said in a resolution adopted by its federal congress in Boksburg.

"The process of appointing people to positions (such as) the NDPP and the national police commissioner needs to be reviewed and adjusted so that these positions are held by fit and proper people."

The DA resolved to propose amendments to section 179 (1) and section 207 (1) of the constitution so that parliament would be given the power to select the NDPP and the police commissioner.

Any key appointments should be made with parliamentary oversight.

It resolved to ensure that those in positions of power were fit for office and would not abuse the public trust.

The Constitutional Court had recently ruled that the validity of Menzi Simelane's appointment as NDPP by Zuma was neither lawful nor rational, the party said.

It also resolved to ensure that disciplinary action was taken against all ministers and departments which allowed spending and benefits outside the scope of the ministerial handbook.

The handbook was routinely used by the executive to justify excessive expenditure, the congress heard.

"Clear guidelines on executive spending could assist in curbing lavish expenditure... such as the recent upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead," the resolution noted.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela had recommended the handbook be amended in order to curb such excess.

Zuma had previously announced, in July 2009, that the handbook would be reviewed, but no such review had been forthcoming, the DA said.

It resolved to hold the executive to account for excessive expenditure.

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