Speech by Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP and UDM President in the National Assembly

Honourable Chairperson
Minister and Deputy Minister
Honourable Members

The United Democratic Movement believes that the national interests of South Africa should be defined and pursued strictly according to the norms and principles, expressed in the Constitution of the Republic in the execution of the country’s relations with the outside world. The recent and rapid developments in the global political landscape, demands of the South African Parliament, plays an active and central role in the conduct of foreign policy.

The mandate of the Parliamentary portfolio committee for International Relations and Cooperation should stretch beyond oversight on activities of the department to include assessment and evaluation of executive decisions and commitments made in the execution of our foreign policy and actions. In this way, Parliament like in many other countries will be at the centre of foreign relations.

Such an approach would allow us an opportunity to present a united front in conflicts such as in the Middle East. In this regard, a radical intervention from South Africa must seek to champion the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolutions on the Middle East. South Africa should engage all other states who tend to undermine the multi lateral decisions on this ongoing conflict.

On the 9 September 2013, I penned a letter to the President of the Republic, the then Minister of Public Service and Administration and carbon copied the then and current Minister of International Relations and Cooperation; in which I alerted the President to serious and disturbing information of alleged looting of state resources by Director General of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).

These concerns were also reported to the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation by the Audit Committee of the department. The audit committee held an opinion “that the management report together with the audit report (for the financial year ended 31 March 2013), are materially misleading, not true reflection of the state of affairs and are not fair presentation of the financial position” of the department.

The amounts involved here exceed half a billion rands with allegations of possible executive directives leading to unauthorised and irregular expenditure. More than 10 months since I raised the matter with all the relevant offices, either than empty promises from the office of the Minister, we have no record of what has been done with these serious allegations.

It is in the public interest that this matter be disposed of as soon as possible. Until this has been addressed, the United Democratic Movement cannot support budget vote 5.

Thank you