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Tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON.
Tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON.

The fallout between tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu and President Cyril Ramaphosa over her comments regarding the judiciary is expected to dominate again this week. 

This follows the weekend discussions at the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting, where Sisulu came under fire for her public defiance of Ramaphosa when she stood by her  criticism of the judiciary. Ramaphosa is under pressure from the ANC and its alliance partner, Cosatu, to act, with Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi telling the NEC that failure to discipline members of the cabinet who “attack” the constitution feeds into a “culture of mediocrity”.

Last week, Sisulu refused to withdraw her opinion piece titled “Hi Mzansi, have we seen justice?”, published by Independent Media, instead blaming the president’s media team for allegedly misrepresenting a meeting between herself and Ramaphosa over the matter. This was after the president released a statement saying Sisulu had undertaken to retract and apologise for her comments in the opinion piece. 

On Monday, ActionSA, led by its president Herman Mashaba, is expected to announce new members that have joined the party. Former prominent DA members John Moodley, Abel Tau, Funzi Ngobeni and Lincoln Machaba have all joined ActionSA, which was formed in 2020. 

Though parliament remains in recess until the state of the nation address by Ramaphosa on February 10, two committees are scheduled to meet this week to discuss pending issues. 

On Tuesday, the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) is scheduled to discuss the letter penned by suspended ANC MP Mervyn Dirks requesting that the committee probe a leaked recording in which Ramaphosa can be allegedly heard confessing to the misuse of state funds for party campaigns. 

Scopa’s chair, IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa, said though the matter appears to play into internal party issues, it also falls within Scopa’s mandate. Dirks will be allowed to make representations to the committee once parliament resumes, Hlengwa said. 

On Wednesday, officials from the defence ministry are expected to appear before the portfolio committee on defence and military veterans to discuss the ill-fated procurement of Covid-19 vaccines in 2020 from Cuba.

In December 2021, the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) had ordered that the vaccines be returned to their country of origin as they had not received the required approvals for administration.  The auditor-general previously told parliament that SA National Defence Force officials could be held liable for payment of the R260m bill for the acquisition of the vaccines. 

maekot@businesslive.co.za

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