South Africa’s ruling African National Congress’ Parliamentary Caucus has nominated Mnyamezeli Booi to head the Portfolio Committee on Defence & Military Veterans in the National Assembly.
Booi was previously party Chief Whip and has served on – and headed – the defence portfolio committee. He has also served as chair of the policing portfolio.
The new chair has had his fair share of controversy and according to the Mail & Guardian is still contesting fraud charges related to the abuse of Parliamentary travel vouchers. Twenty-nine MPs were implicated and most have already been sentenced in terms of plea agreements. Booi maintains he is innocent.
The party has also proposed Hlengiwe Mgabadeli to head the Joint Standing Committee on Defence and Harry Mofokeng for the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development in the National Council of Provinces, the upper house of Parliament.
As the majority party in Parliament, the ANC should encounter no problems having the committees confirm their preferred candidates.
The party has also recommended that African People`s Convention president Themba Godi again head the crucial Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA).
The ANC`s general secretary Gwede Mantashe told a press conference yesterday Godi`s appointment was consistent “with the organisation’s commitment to the objective of clean and accountable governance, we have sought to uphold the long standing principle of appointing to the position” of SCOPA chairman an MP from the opposition. “This is aimed at removing any possibility for biasness [sic], either perceived or real, by the committee chairperson when presiding over matters involving the executive.”
Cecil Burgess also retains his post as chair of the renamed Joint Standing Committee on State Security (formerly Intelligence) while newcomer Lydia Chikunga will head the police portfolio committee.
The Portfolio Committee on International Relations & Corporation will be headed by trade unionist Thulas Nxesi, until recently general secretary of the SA Democratic Teachers` Union.
The Public Enterprises committee that oversees state airline SAA as well as Denel will be headed by Vytjie Mentor. She is the former ANC caucus chair and also headed the private members legislative proposals committee.
Heading the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services is Vincent Smith, who helped end SCOPA`s controversial investigation into the even more controversial contracting underlying the 1999 Strategic Defence Package.
Ben Martins has been moved from the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry to Home Affairs Home Affairs and Dimusani Dennis Gamede will lead the Select Committee on Trade and International Relations.
Mantashe added the appointments were the “culmination of a rigorous and a careful process with a view to putting together a capable and competent leadership that will bolster the constitutional role of Parliament.”
He added the primary function of Parliamentary committees “is to scrutinise and oversee the activities of government to ensure that the implementation of programmes and policies are consistent with the critical mandate of improving the quality of life of millions of our people.
“It is in this regard that we are expressly confident that the men and women we are announcing today for the positions of Chairpersons and Whips will steer this august institution on the correct path to fully achieve this gigantic task.
“The list of appointees for the positions of Chairpersons will be submitted to Parliament as part of a process for their election to these posts when portfolio committees in both Houses hold their first meetings`, he said.
The ANC will finalise the allocation of MPs to the committees next week.
President Jacob Zuma is expected to deliver his inaugural State of the Nation speech on June 5. It is not yet clear if or when Finance minister Pravin Gordhan will present an amended budget for the 2009/10 financial year in light of the splitting of several departments and the de novo creation of others.
The new chairpersons of parliamentary committees are as follows:
· Obed Bapela
· Mildred Oliphant
· Ben Skhosana (Inkatha Freedom Party)
Chairperson of Caucus:
· Alina Rantsolase
National Assembly Whips:
· Cedrick Frolick
· Richard Mdakana
· Duma Ndleleni
· Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries: Mlungisi Lulu Johnson
· Portfolio Committee on Communications: Ismail Vadi
· Portfolio Committee on Trade & Industry: Joan Fubbs
· Portfolio Committee on Economic Development: Busi Coleman
· Portfolio Committee on Transport: Ruth Bhengu
· Portfolio Committee on Science & Technology: Nqaba Ngcobo
· Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs: Maggie Sotyu
· Portfolio Committee on Tourism: Don Gumede
· Portfolio Committee on Finance: Thaba Mufamadi
· Portfolio Committee on Mining: Fred Gono
· Portfolio Committee on Energy: Elizabeth Thabethe
· Portfolio Committee on Labour: Lumka Yengeni
· Portfolio Committee on Public Works: Lindiwe Hendricks
· Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises: Vytjie Mentor
· Portfolio Committee on Rural Development & Land Reform: Stone Sizani
· Joint Budget Committee on Appropriation: Elliot Sogoni, Kgauta Mokgoto (Joint Chairpersons)
· Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services: Vincent Smith
· Portfolio Committee on Defence & Military Veterans: Mnyamezeli Booi
· Joint Standing Committee on Defence: Hlengiwe Mgabadeli
· Portfolio Committee on Justice & Constitutional Development: Ngoako Ramatlhodi
· Portfolio Committee on Constitutional Review: Patekile Holomisa
· Joint Standing Committee on State Security: Cecil Burgess
· Portfolio Committee on Police: Lydia Chikunga
· Portfolio Committee on International Relations & Corporation: Thulas Nxesi
· Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs: Ben Martins
· Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs: Lechesa Tsenoli
· Portfolio Committee on Public Service & Administration: Joyce Moloi-Moropa
· Joint Standing Committee on Auditor-General: Michael Masutha
· Standing Committee on Public Accounts: Themba Godi (from the APC)
· Portfolio Committee on Basic Education: Fatima Chohan
· Portfolio Committee on Higher Education: Marius Fransman
· Portfolio Committee on Health: Bevan Goqwana
· Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements: Beauty Dambuza
· Portfolio Committee on Social Development: Yolanda Botha
· Portfolio Committee on Sports & Recreation: Butana Komphela
· Portfolio Committee on Arts & Culture: Simon Farisani
· Women’s Caucus: Beauty Dlulani
· Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth, Children and People with Disability: Barbara Thomson
· Portfolio Committee on private members’ legislative proposals and special petitions: Setlamorago Thobejane
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP:
· Thandi Memela
· Papi Tau
· Nosilivere Magadla
· Select Committee on Education and Recreation: Makgale Mamosoeu Wendy
· Select Committee on Economic Development: Freddie Adams
· Select Committee on Finance: Charel Jacobus De Beer
· Select Committee on Governance and Administration: Matome Humphrey Mokgobi
· Select Committee on Land and Environmental Affairs: Daphne Qikani
· Select Committee on Public Services: Mtikeni Patrick Sibande
· Select Committee on Labour and Public Enterprises: Malesane Priscilla Themba
· Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development: Harry Mofokeng
· Select Committee on Social Services: Rachel Nomonde Rasmeni
· Select Committee on Trade and International Relations: Dimusani Dennis Gamede