The Inkatha Freedom Party in the KwaZulu Natal provincial legislature is shocked and dismayed at the refusal of the Hon MEC Sipho Hlomuka’s refusal to account.
Members of parliament are constitutionally charged with a responsibility to, amongst other things, ensuring that the executive abides by the legislative mandates and executes the programmes of the government as planned.
Members of legislatures keep watch on the finances of the provinces and have to make the executive account on how the finances are spent. Members perform this task in various ways, including asking questions to the executive about the spending of state coffers. When assuming office as members of the provincial executive, MEC’s take an oath of office, committing to remaining faithful to the constitution of the republic and other laws of the republic. The rules of the provincial legislature compel MEC’s to respond to questions asked and to respond truthfully.
Last year the Hon member of the provincial legislature, Mr Mntomuhle Khawula, asked a question to the MEC for Cogta about financial and personnel support that is attached to the mayors, deputy mayors and speakers in all municipalities in KwaZulu Natal, and the financial implications of such to each municipality. The response of the MEC comes as a great shock.
The MEC quotes a rule that does not exist in the rules of the legislature and directs Hon Khawula to liaise with members of his party who serve at local government level to sauce such responses for him from the municipalities. It seems that the Hon MEC does not understand his role and his job. The MEC is charged with overseeing the functioning of municipalities in the province. He is charged with this task and is answerable to the province for the goings on in the municipalities. He has taken an oath of office to agree to this task and to perform it diligently.
The IFP in the legislature has already written a letter to the Hon Speaker of the legislature, requesting the Speaker to compel the MEC to respond to the question. In addition to this, the IFP Leader of the Official Opposition in KwaZulu Natal will also be writing to the Hon Premier about this unacceptable conduct of his MEC, and questioning whether, under the circumstances, does the Premier see him fit to still remain in office.
Mntomuhle B Khawula, MPL
071 207 9445