A STRATEGIC session for Eastern Cape MECs to thrash out the yearly plans for their departments turned sour yesterday when opposition party MPLs staged a walkout because the MECs failed to turn up.

COPE, DA and UDM MPLs have lashed out at the MECs and premier Noxolo Kiviet for not attending the economic and governance clusters’ strategic planning sessions in Port Elizabeth, which they have deemed “fruitless and wasteful expenditure”.

The workshop was supposed to be held from Tuesday to last night, but the opposition MPLs walked out early yesterday after Local Government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane did not arrive.

Budget and Treasury MEC Phumulo Masualle was also supposed to attend the workshop.

UDM legislature leader Masiza Mhlathi said: “Economic Development MEC Mcebisi Jonas was the only one who turned up and presented his plans for the economic clusters, but MEC Qoboshiyane did not turn up to present on the governance clusters.

“Instead, he sent an official to do the presentation, but how can he do that when he is the one accountable to the legislature?”

DA provincial chief whip Pine Pienaar said: “We can’t debate these plans with ourselves. A lot of money has been spent to set up these strategic meetings, but none of the MECs, except for MEC Jonas, bothered to pitch.

“They did not show any respect for the event.”

COPE MPL Noxolo Ndabeni said it would be useless for MPLs to be briefed on plans by officials instead of political heads, who accounted to the legislature.

Qoboshiyane’s spokesman, Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha, said: “We categorically reject any insinuation . . . that the MEC has low regard [for] the Eastern Cape [parliament].

“The MEC sent his apology last week . . . he deployed a [deputy director-general] from his department to make the same cabinet governance cluster presentation he was going to make.”


  1. Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha says:

    We would like to confirm that after clearing his schedule, MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane attended the strategic planning session of the Eastern Cape Legislature in PE. The MEC didn’t fail to pitch but sent an apology to the Legislature indicating his unavailability on Tuesday and Wednesday.

    He was disappointed that some members of the legislature exaggerated their self Importance by venturing into a grandstanding walkout from the session, using his unavailability as an excuse.

    The MEC made his cluster presentation to the remaining ANC members of Legislature and further apologised for not being able to attend on the day he was initially billed to impart his presentation.

    It is was very sad for the MEC to hear that some members of the Legislature, representing opposition parties, decided to abdicate their responsibilities by walking out over nothing. We strongly believe their walkout undermined the fact that their attendance of the session was part of their public duties, their stay in PE was paid for by the tax payers. We wonder where did they go to when they walked out of the meeting? It would be sad if they embarked on shopping while they were on duty.
    The MEC will now submit an official complaint to the Speaker of the Legislature about the unbecoming conduct of these members as it appears to be unparliamentary. Their decision to report this matter to the media as if it was a deliberate decision not to attend the session, is puerile and not for members of the parly. If they had serious concerns, they should have reported the matter to the Premier or the Speaker not to attempt to embarrass the MEC.

    People of the Eastern Cape deserve better leaders than those of opposition parties, they must ask them why did they undermine their public duty by walking out of a session called for them to plan. This is more reason why the people of this province should keep voting for the ANC.

    Issued by Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha
    MEC’s Spokesperson

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