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President Cyril Ramaphosa given seven to 10 days to answer Scopa

President Cyril Ramaphosa. File picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

President Cyril Ramaphosa. File picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Published Jan 25, 2022

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Cape Town - Members of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) have given President Cyril Ramaphosa seven to 10 days to explain his comments on the misuse of public funds during the campaign for top positions in the ANC.

Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said on Tuesday all parties agreed that they have to write to Ramaphosa first by seeking information.

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“The president will be given seven to 10 days to respond to the committee through a form of a statement or affidavit on the matter at hand on the basis of utterances attributed to him as he makes them in the recording,” Hlengwa said.

“He must explain the recording and the contents thereof or therein and the committee on the basis of that response will make a determination on how it structures its way forward including but not limited to hearings and the issuance of invites to affected parties,” Hlengwa said.

The ANC had earlier pushed that the summons must not be issued as the president had not been contacted and summons were issued as a last resort if people refuse to appear before the committee.

Other parties also agreed that summons would not be issued yet, but that they would write to Ramaphosa.

The decision of the committee came after the ANC in Parliament axed its MP Mervyn Dirks from Scopa and replaced him with another party member.

Hlengwa revealed this on Tuesday when the committee was hearing a presentation by Dirks on his call for Ramaphosa to appear before the committee on his remarks in the national executive committee that public funds were used to campaign for top positions in the ANC.

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Hlengwa said Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula had been notified of changes in the membership of Scopa.

He said the ANC had also written to him about removing Dirks from the committee.

Dirks had shown up in Scopa where he reiterated to MPs that the committee must call Ramaphosa to answer on his comments on the misuse of public funds to campaign for positions in the ANC.

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Dirks said he had agonised before asking Scopa to investigate the matter.

He said it was his own decision to appear before Scopa and ask the committee to ask Ramaphosa to come and answer questions on the misuse of public funds on campaigns of the ruling party.

Dirks said he has also written to the public protector and acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to investigate the matter.

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He told fellow members of Scopa it was their responsibility to ensure that the matter was dealt with.

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