Summons will be issued for Muthambi 'at earliest possible time'

16 August 2017 - 13:34 By Staff Reporter
Faith Muthambi. File photo.
Faith Muthambi. File photo.
Image: Katlholo Maifadi

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration/Monitoring and Evaluation has resolved to summon the Minister of Public Service and Administration‚ Faith Muthambi‚ as well as the Director-General and the Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Public Service and Administration‚ to appear before it.

Muthambi and her DG‚ Mashwahle Diphofa‚ on Tuesday failed to appear before the committee‚ where Muthambi was to be quizzed on the allegations that she flew 30 family members and friends to Parliament for her budget vote address at the taxpayers’ expense. The committee was also going to receive performance reports of the two entities over the two previous quarters.

The committee is chaired by ANC MP Makhosi Khoza‚ a critic of President Jacob Zuma who herself is facing a disciplinary process by the party.

In a statement on Wednesday‚ the committee said: "The decision to summon the said individuals was made as a result of their failure to attend a scheduled meeting of the Committee without giving reasons for their non-attendance".

The committee said it was disappointed that the Minister did not honour an invitation to attend the meeting as scheduled.

“The decision to summon her was a result of her disregard for the Committee‚ which borders on undermining the work of the Committee and Parliament as a whole‚” said Khoza.

The statement said the committee "reiterates its principled view that oversight and accountability forms 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".

Khoza was also quoted as saying: "What is important to the Committee is ensuring good governance‚ and that money is spent where it is budgeted for. In light of financial shortfalls within government‚ every cent must be spend prudently to ensure that a little goes a long way."

The committee would engage the parliamentary legal services to ascertain the correct process to be followed in implementing the resolution. "This will also include the possibility of ensuring that those officials who travelled to Cape Town personally reimburse the public purse the money used in making those travel arrangements.

"Furthermore‚ guidance will be sought from the House Chairperson: Committees on the process to be followed in implementing the decision of the Committee.

"The summons will be issued at the earliest possible time for the Minister and officials to appear before the Committee at its next scheduled meeting next week."