Defence Joint Standing Committee members named

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Thirteen parliamentarians, including four from the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), have been named as members of the Joint Standing Committee on Defence.

In line with where the electorate put their crosses on polling day back in May, the Freedom Front Plus, in the form of Pieter Groenewald, no longer has a representative on the committee.

Its good showing at the polls has given Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) a single member on the committee. He is Paul Ramakatsa, the party’s defence and military veterans spokesman in the National Assembly.

ANC MPs who are named as members are former chairman Malusi Stanley Motimele, Bongani Thomas Bongo, Zephroma Sizani Dlamini-Dubazana, Dennis Gamede, Adelaide Mnisi and James Jim Skosana.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will be represented by its shadow defence and military veterans minister, David Maynier, and deputy shadow minister Shahid Esau.

NCOP representatives on the committee are LC Dlamini (Gauteng), EM Mlambo (Mpumalanga), T Motlashuping (North West) – all ANC – and the DA’s George Michalakis (Free State).

The committee is scheduled to meet five times in the current session of the fifth Parliament’s sitting with a weekend session from October 24 to 26 planned as a strategic session. This will cover its quarterly and annual programmes as well as its five year plan.

Items on the provisional agenda for this committee include the Defence Review, the Defence Secretariat, the Auditor General on assessing financial and performance related information in both the Department of Defence and the SA National Defence Force and the Department of Military Veterans. One of the first items it will deal with is Maynier’s Private Member’s Bill seeking amendments to the Defence Act.