COPE President Mosiuoa Lekota recently sent a letter to Speaker, Baleka Mbete, on allegations made in the book “The President’s Keepers” by investigative journalist, Jacques Pauw, with the party saying today it was awaiting a response.
In a press statement today, Cope released the letter sent to Mbete last Monday.
I hereby formally request you, in terms of rule 130 of the Rules of the National Assembly, to schedule without delay an opportunity for the House to discuss a matter of great national public importance which arises from a number of explosive allegations made by investigative journalist Jacques Pauw in his book The President’s Keepers.
I submit that the content of the book has gone viral, and thus the detailed nature of the wrongdoings that the investigative journalist has laid bare at SARS, SAPS, State Security and NPA, amongst others, has thoroughly alarmed South Africans who are now most desirous to hear as a matter of utmost urgency how the peoples’ parliament is going to react to the litany of allegations made there and what steps parliament was going to take to ascertain the validity thereof considering that the Hawks and the NPA cannot because of a conflict of interest take a lead in this matter on their own.
The exposures in the book are so damning and so extensive as to be considered treasonable and so widely publicised as to warrant your invoking sub-section (3) of rule 130 in allowing parliament to debate the matter at the highest level without a moment’s delay to give the nation guidance and direction and to demand utmost accountability without fear or favour.
I furthermore urge you, in mindfulness of true service to the nation, to set aside more than the usual time previously permitted for such a debate in order to surmount the limitations imposed by sub-section (7) which requires that there may only be one discussion in terms of this rule on a sitting day and that being the case, adequate time should be set aside to permit a very wide ranging debate covering all spheres of government and government agencies implicated in the book considering the implications of what is being exposed and what consequences would flow from even 10% of the issues raised being proved to be true.
Furthermore, in requesting an urgent debate of this matter I am mindful of the following provisions of sub-section (8) which stipulate that in exercising your discretion you will apply the following criteria:
(a) Matters already discussed by the House during the same annual session may not be discussed under this rule;
(b) the matter must be raised at the earliest opportunity;
(c) the matter must be —
(i) of so serious a nature that it requires urgent attention, or
(ii) of sufficient immediate public importance to warrant it taking precedence over other programmed business;
(d) the request must deal with a matter of national importance for which the government can be held responsible, or that falls within the scope of ministerial action;
(e) the subject must relate to a specific matter of recent occurrence, and not to a general state of affairs or to a matter of policy;
(f) the matter must be defined and specific;
(g) the request must deal with only one substantive matter;
All of the above criteria are properly met in my request. I also wish to submit that the sub judice rule (Rule 89) does not apply to the discussion parliament needs to hold.”