Moloto Mothapo. Picture: ANNA MAJAVU
Moloto Mothapo. Picture: ANNA MAJAVU

The office of the ANC chief whip in Parliament has leapt to the defence of its former spin doctor, Moloto Mothapo, in the wake of his controversial appointment as the spokesperson for the legislature.

The DA has raised concern about the appointment saying it is "unfathomable that someone so blatantly partisan can be considered as appropriate to assume the role as spokesperson for a multiparty institution like Parliament", one day after vacating the position of spokesperson for the ANC caucus.

Mothapo resigned from his position in the ANC earlier in February after serving the party for 12 years.

Parliament announced on Wednesday that the former ANC spokesman would assume a senior position as the divisional manager responsible for Parliament’s communication services, effective from February 15.

In a statement late on Thursday, the office of the ANC chief whip in Parliament said it was completely startled by the "outrageous insinuations by the DA that members of the ANC cannot apply for certain jobs".

"Cde Mothapo underwent all necessary channels of applying for the job, was short-listed and went through an interview process. Like any other citizen, Cde Mothapo has the right to apply for any position of employment he deems fit," the office of the ANC chief whip said.

"The mere suggestion that Cde Mothapo will not carry out his tasks objectively is an insult to his integrity and professional track record, which speaks for itself."

The office of the ANC chief whip went on to detail Mothapo’s academic and professional record, which included:

• B-Tech in Journalism from the Tshwane University of Technology;

• Senior manager for media and communications and national spokesperson for the ANC Caucus for the past 12 years;

• Five years as Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) national communications officer, writer and acting national spokesperson;

• A convener of the inaugural Nelson Mandela Day national communication team in 2009; and

• In 2015, named spokesperson of the year by the Sunday Times.

On Thursday DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said the party totally opposed the appointment as it was inappropriate.

"We will be posing tough questions to the joint standing committee on the financial management of Parliament today [Thursday] and tomorrow [Friday] on what process was followed in his appointment, which candidates were considered and when interviews were conducted," said Steenhuisen.

Furthermore, said Steenhuisen, it was "nonsensical" that Parliament should have a spokesperson at all considering the speaker of the National Assembly and the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces are the de facto spokespersons for the legislature.

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