The DA has written a letter to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise seeking answers on who paid for EFF leader Julius Malema and his entourage’s trip on Friday to former president Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.
In a statement on Sunday, DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone said the party wanted an investigation by “the various parliamentary staff members who oversee the payment of entitlements to members of parliament, as well as the Registrar of Member’s interests who oversees all gifts, hospitality and travel benefits.”
Malema arrived by helicopter for the much-anticipated “tea meeting” on Friday accompanied by EFF MP and national spokesperson, Vuyani Pambo, and the party’s former chairperson, advocate Dali Mpofu.
The meeting also included Zuma’s staunch supporters in the ANC, Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina, and ANC national executive committee member Tony Yengeni.
The colour of tea early in the morning. pic.twitter.com/itmpy4KSCJ
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) February 6, 2021
The get-together followed Zuma’s statement on Monday that he would defy a Constitutional Court (ConCourt) order compelling him to appear before the State Capture Commission this month.
Mazzone said Modise has the authority to request the acting secretary of Parliament to investigate all travel claims made by any MP. She said the speaker can also report any possible abuse of resources allocated to any current or former MP to the relevant authority once she is made aware of such abuse.
“Following numerous photographs that have appeared in the media and on social media platforms, it is clear that a large delegation accompanied Mr. Malema (MP) to the home of ex-President, Mr. Jacob Zuma,” Mazzone said.
The DA wants to know:
• Whether any official travel entitlements were used to fund the visit?
• If any vehicles of VIP protection service were used to transport any of the guests to and from Nkandla?
• And lastly, whether any benefits received in terms of travel or hospitality that require a declaration to be made in the register of Members Interests in Parliament were used?
Mazzone said MPs have the responsibility to ensure that taxpayers’ monies are not abused or wasted.
“We have a duty to ensure that this tea party in no way, cost the economy of South Africa a single cent, that could have been used to purchase vaccines for the people,” she said.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe