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The Presidency doesn't need parliamentary oversight committee, says Mashatile

During his maiden question-and-answer session in Parliament on Thursday, the new deputy president argued that there were already sufficient mechanisms in place to oversee The Presidency.

Deputy President Paul Mashatile addressed the National Assembly during a Q&A session on 23 March 2023. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN – Deputy President Paul Mashatile held the party line against the establishment of a committee that would exercise oversight over The Presidency.

He was quizzed by the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)’s Narend Singh during his maiden question-and-answer session in Parliament on Thursday on whether he would support the move.

The IFP was behind the latest proposal for such a committee with the backing of several other parties, but Mashatile said he believed sufficient mechanisms existed for oversight over The Presidency.

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The new deputy president said that as the leader of government business, he would be cracking the whip on ministers who didn’t answer members of Parliament’s (MPs) questions on time, or at all.

“The number of unanswered questions has gone down, ministers are responding, but we do want to perfect it. And, as a result, we are looking at a number of interventions.”

But Mashatile said he didn’t believe it was necessary for a presidency portfolio committee, despite it being the only government department not monitored by a dedicated parliamentary committee.

“Opposition parties know the president can come here and answer questions. So, he’s really at your disposal to hold him accountable. I think, let’s continue that way.”

Mashatile said opposition parties were too quick to judge the president on the Phala Phala Farm matter while several investigations were still underway.

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