Baleka Mbete has denied claims by the Democratic Alliance that she is keeping secret the report which reveals the names of people who lied in Parliament. She described the claims by DA deputy chief whip and Mike Waters as being “erroneous and without basis”.
Waters believed that the report, which was a result of one of the key recommendations that came out of the SABC inquiry, implicated senior ANC and government officials.
Mbete said she would refer the report to the portfolio committee in August, but Waters believed she should table it in Parliament.
Parliament’s legal services were given the responsibility of identifying people who had misled the inquiry, or provided false information or false testimony with the aim of criminal charges being laid.
Mbete said she had written to the people on the list, inviting them to make submissions based on the findings of the report and the allegations they face by the end of July.
Waters, who was a member of the SABC ad hoc committee, said on Friday: “The report from Parliament’s legal services unit detailing any witnesses who gave contradictory or misleading evidence during the SABC inquiry is not related to any parliamentary probe. Rather, the ad hoc committee on the SABC board inquiry completed its work and finalised its report on February 24; this same report was adopted by resolution of the National Assembly during a sitting on March 7.”
Mbete, should have tabled the report before the House, he said.
“The speaker has been given a report that should, as a matter of priority, be forwarded to the National Prosecuting Authority, not the portfolio committee on communications,” Waters said.
He regarded the failure of both the speaker and the acting parliamentary secretary to grant him access to the report as being “an example of Mbete prioritising her party by protecting those implicated over holding her constitutional duty”.
Waters added: “Mbete has set herself a fake deadline of “sometime in August”, citing neither rule nor precedent. Indeed, she acted in bad faith when she “wrote to individuals cited on the list, inviting them to make submissions by the end of July on the serious allegations they face”.
The implications that may be faced by those who may be found guilty of wilfully furnishing the house or committees with false/misleading information and statements, at the end of the investigations, include a fine and or imprisonment of up to two years.
“Parliament deserves a better speaker. One that will defend the integrity of the legislature from those who disrespects the institution and seek to escape accountability”, he added.