“On the basis of that intended rescission application, she made a request to the speaker and to the committee to adopt the same attitude they had adopted when the matter was going to the Constitutional Court for appeal in the first round, that we had made a sensible decision by deciding to put the process on hold until the Constitutional Court has ruled on the issue.
“The issue she is raising is that since there is an application that will be pending soon, we should consider putting this process on hold in deference to that rescission application,” Njileka said.
Parliament’s legal advisers responded to the letter, saying there were no legal obligations to stop the process, but that was followed by a second letter on Tuesday.
Njikela said it was up to the committee to consider the correspondence and make a decision as was done previously on whether the committee would like to give that process an opportunity to unfold before proceeding with the inquiry.
In response, ANC deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude said: “Given the clarification by the legal services, ours is to proceed with the work of parliament as we are expected to and adopt the programme of the committee as well as the terms of reference so other work can start to unfold.”
The DA’s Annelie Lotriet said the committee could not accede to a request on the basis that an application will be filed.
“I think we should proceed. Looking at the agenda this afternoon, there is absolutely nothing on which we will take decisions that will have an impact on what the court found, so I propose we proceed with our meeting this afternoon,” she said.
GOOD’s Brett Herron agreed, saying while a rescission application would usually suspend the proceedings, in the absence of a real application the committee should proceed with its work.
Herron noted that according to their proposed programme, the real work starts at the end of March, which gives Mkhwebane plenty of time to bring a real application.
The ANC’s Boyce Maneli said it was important to note “the conditions under which the meeting was convened still prevail”.
“It’s clearly an intention. Anything else can still happen,” said Maneli.