The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Northern Cape has called out the Speaker of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature (NCPL), Newrene Klaaste, after a concerning lack of procedure was followed in the reinstatement of controversial ANC big-five member, Fufe Makatong, as a Member of the Provincial Legislature (MPL). This subsequently paved the way for Makatong’s appointment as the MEC of Roads and Public Works last week.
The DA has officially submitted a letter of complaint to Klaaste, regarding what we consider to be gross oversight on the part of the NCPL in the swearing in of Makatong, as well as Desery Finies, following the resignation of MECs Martha Bartlett and Bernice Sinexve. This includes that the NCPL failed to officially inform political parties of the vacancies left by Bartlett and Sinexve, and also never published the swearing in of Makatong and Finies, or officially welcomed them on the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports (ATC) publication of the legislature.
The DA is deeply concerned that the lack of the procedure was purposefully orchestrated in an attempt to circumvent due process. This has left us with many questions.
Neither Makatong nor Finies appeared on the IEC provincial list. We thus want proof that the IEC lists were in fact properly amended.
At the same time, Makatong has a dark cloud hanging over her. She was shamefully removed from the ANC’s lists in the run up to the 2019 elections after she was allegedly found to have criminal charges against her. We want to know what could possibly have changed now for the ANC to allow Makatong back onto their list.
If Makatong, or the ANC for that matter, thought that we would forget about her unceremonious removal from government politics and her poor track record, then they must think again.
Aside from her dubious past, Makatong also gave a dismal performance as MEC of Health during the Fifth Administration whereby she basically brought health to a standstill with her refusal to sign off on critical appointments and procurements. We therefore have no doubt that she does not have what it takes to lead any government department, let alone Roads & Public Works, which deals with massive construction contracts and the province’s property portfolio.
We can only speculate that Makatong’s ongoing status as the ANC’s provincial treasurer and influence via the ANC Women’s League, has caused Premier Zamani Saul to buckle under political pressure and reinstate her. This says little of the ANC’s commitment to fight corruption.
The DA will continue to pursue Makatong’s return to government until we have all the answers.
It is important that we ascertain the reasons for her removal from the ANC list in 2019 and the processes followed in her subsequent reinstatement. It is also critical that we do so now, as to prevent a dangerous precedent in the future.
Issued by The DA