EDUCATION MEC Mandla Makupula found himself in hot water yesterday for failing to provide responses to an outstanding question to the Bhisho Legislature.
Makupula was made to stand up and apologise for failing to submit his response to questions asked two months ago by the DA’s Bobby Stevenson when he was booted out of the house for not wearing proper attire.
Apparently he did not give the responses within 10 days in line with the rules, resulting in the questions automatically being included in yesterday’s list of written questions for oral reply.
“Without beating about the bush, let me stand up and sincerely apologise for the fact that I am unable to give these responses. I want to indicate it is failure on my part and the department,” Makupula said.
He said he had not noticed that the initial questions were due for oral reply accompanied by written response and had not seen the question paper despite the questions being re-sent to the department.
“I want to make a commitment to this house that I plead guilty first. The department, I must admit, failed me and I want to make a commitment within seven days, if it allows it, to bring these questions properly answered.
“I accept whatever form of punishment that the honourable house imposes, I plead guilty,” he said.
He later told the Daily Dispatch that he had not initially responded after he was told his shirt was too casual. He blamed the mishap on the legislature as he was previously allowed to wear the same shirt.
He also said his parliamentary liaison officer did not bring to his attention that there were still outstanding questions.
Makupula’s dressing down came hot on heels of the DA’s Veliswa Mvenya raising concerns about the legislature’s oversight role and monitoring of MECs.
“Are MECs taking the house seriously? Do they come to the house and do they take portfolio committee meetings seriously?
“Do MECs take seriously implementation of resolutions? Do they take oral question seriously?”
Yesterday, deputy speaker Bulelwa Tunyiswa said the legislature was committed to overseeing and monitoring the provincial executive. “We need to find a way that the questions are responded to. It is important that we try very hard to ensure all questions are responded to in the house,” Tunyiswa said. — firstname.lastname@example.org