more pRESsure on motlanthe

ANC chief whip Mnyamezeli Booi is pressing ahead with plans to meet President Kgalema Motlanthe to clarify why he has yet to sign the so-called SABC bill into law - and two Scorpions bills.

ANC chief whip Mnyamezeli Booi is pressing ahead with plans to meet President Kgalema Motlanthe to clarify why he has yet to sign the so-called SABC bill into law - and two Scorpions bills.

"I will be meeting him," Booi said yesterday, but declined to elaborate on his concerns, because "I have already said enough".

Earlier, Cape Town's Argus newspaper quoted Booi as saying: "Why hasn't he signed it? We have no insight into what is happening.

"Parliament has done its job. As a chief whip of the party I am concerned about that."

The ANC's alliance partners, Cosatu and the SA Communist Party have also complained that Motlanthe had not yet signed the SABC bill.

"The SACP regards this delay as unfortunate and a major stumbling block for us to move swiftly to transform the public broadcaster into a truly public broadcaster, consistent with the resolutions of Polokwane," the party said yesterday.

The bill gives parliament the power to axe the SABC board.

Cosatu urged Motlanthe "to sign the bill and the government to implement it - without any further delay - so that the SABC can become a genuine public broadcaster."

The SACP also welcomed Booi's decision to take up the matter with the president.

Meanwhile, Anna Majavu reports that the Constitutional Court is set to decide whether Motlanthe should be forced to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry into the 1999 arms deal debacle.

Last month Motlanthe rejected a request by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former president FW de Klerk, academic Mamphele Ramphele and the late Helen Suzman to establish a commission of inquiry into the arms deal.

But now, Cape Town lawyers Abrahams Kiewitz and senior counsel Paul Hoffman, the former director of the Centre for Constitutional Rights, acting on behalf of anti-arms deal activist Terry Crawford-Browne, will ask the Constitutional Court to issue "a declaratory order that the president is in breach of his constitutional obligations". - Sapa

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