Six political parties on Parliamentary defence and veterans oversight committee

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The newly constituted National Assembly (NA) Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV), in line with the multi-party government of national unity (GNU), has representation from six political parties with African National Congress (ANC) public representative Dakota Legoete as chair.

With three other representatives, President Jacob Zuma’s party has a majority of seats – four – on the 11-member PCDMV. The Democratic Alliance (DA) and uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) have two seats each. Another two seats are filled by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), in the form of Carl Niehaus, and Thandi Nontenja of the United Democratic Movement (UDM).

Legoete is a Member of Parliament (MP) from the ANC regional list for the North West Province. His Christian name is given as “Dakota” on the Parliament statement announcing the chairs of 16 of the NA’s 30 portfolio committees.

Other ANC MPs on the PCDMV are Mzimasi Mike Hala, an Eastern Cape regional list public representative; Azwihangwisi Faith Muthambi (national list) and Thokozile Sokanyile (Eastern Cape regional list).

Delegated to the PCDMV as DA defence and military veterans oversight watchdogs are Chris Hattingh (national list) and Maliyakhe Shelembe, on the KwaZulu-Natal regional list as a PCDMV member during the sixth administration.

Parliamentary newcomers MKP’s two PCDMV representatives are Edward Ntshingila (national list) and a Ms M Mrweqane, not listed as an MP on the NA all members list.

The other PCDMV member is Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) public representative Russel Cebekhulu who was also on the previous PCDMV, while Steven Swart (ACDP) is listed as an alternate.

Parliament, through its oversight function, plays a central role in holding the executive to account. The Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans is mandated to oversee the Department of Defence and Military Veterans to ensure that the Department fulfils its mandate through the monitoring of the implementation of legislation and adherence to policies, such as the Defence Act (No. 42 of 2002), the White Paper on Defence (1996) and the 1998 Defence Review and the 2015 Defence Review. These policy guidelines assist the Committee in its oversight activities. The Committee scrutinises legislation that supports the mission statement of Government, the budget and functioning of the Department, and the employment of the SANDF.

The Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD) will be constituted at a later stage. This comprises of MPs from the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and is the second of the two parliamentary defence committees.

Click here to view the JSCD’s report on its activities undertaken during the 6th Parliament (May 2019 – March 2024).