Legislature row over ‘changed’ questions grows: The Herald

DA EASTERN Cape leader Athol Trollip has lashed out at the provincial legislature, claiming that officials are again trying to block his questions to premier Phumulo Masualle about how funds for Nelson Mandela’s funeral were spent.

Trollip, who is adamant that Masualle did not answer the questions he had submitted, said his written submissions to the legislature were “subverted by the legislature” to exclude reference to Masualle’s bank account. It emerged earlier this year that R250 000 had been deposited into Masualle’s account, while he was still finance and planning MEC, to be used for expenses pertaining to Mandela’s funeral.

Masualle instructed officials to reverse the transaction and all the money was accounted for.

Trollip said yesterday he had received correspondence from officials telling him that he could not ask an oral question on the same topic in the same year in the legislature. And he is livid. “The reasons given are not only spurious, they are inconsistent with a ruling of the speaker, Noxolo Kiviet, in the original questions session where she disallowed me the opportunity to ask a follow-up question to the premier.

“This was done after I protested that the question the premier was answering was not mine.

“According to the transcript I said: ‘First, on a point of order, this is not the question I asked the premier’,” Trollip said yesterday.

“Since this debacle, the premier and his spin doctors have tried to explain the transfer of public funds into his personal account as a conspiracy.”

Trollip said that the DA would not allow the matter to be swept under the carpet.

Legislature spokesman Velisile Bukula said Kiviet was investigating the matter.