Allow cabinet members to ‘amend’ their answers, says Jackson Mthembu

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu wants parliament to come up with a new rule that will allow cabinet members to amend incorrect answers they provided to the legislature within a specific time frame.

The ANC’s call comes about a week after President Cyril Ramaphosa wrote to national assembly speaker Baleka Mbete correcting an answer he gave to DA leader Mmusi Maimane about his son Andile’s business dealing with controversial company Bosasa.

“Going forward, our rules must be amended to provide for instances wherein an unwitting, incorrect answer is provided, to allow for corrections to be made within specific time frames. At the moment, we don’t have such a rule. The corrections by the president were new areas that parliament needs to look at in terms of its rules,” said Mthembu on Thursday.

Mthembu added that there was a need for this provision in the rules because it has been proven that it is possible to unknowingly give wrong or erroneous information to the house. He said the rule would also cover statements by MPs, including information shared during debates.

Mthembu said his party had accepted Ramaphosa’s written correction, sent to Mbete last week, in which the president revealed that his reply to a supplementary question was incorrect and that the payment referred to in the question did not relate to a contract Andile had with Bosasa.

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