Mr Vusiwana Mtileni (EFF)


What is your political background? How did you become involved in politics and particularly, what drew you to your specific party? I started my political activism in 1993 whilst following Mr Bantu Holomisa as a journalist, because he was proposing an alternative to the ANC after his expulsion from the ruling party. At that time Mr Holomisa was calling out those members of the ANC who had been found guilty of accepting bribes from Sol Kerzner to give slots only to ANC candidates in the Transkei. I was involved in the campaigning that secured 16 seats in Parliament for the UDM in 1996.

In 2000 I was amongst the first councillors in the Thulamela Municipality representing the UDM. Until 2004 I was very active in the structures of the UDM. When floor crossing was introduced that year I was the first to cross from the UDM to the ANC. Because of promises by the ANC that we would be catered for between 2004 and 2009 not materialising, there was a period where I was not active in any politics.

I was fortunate that when the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) was established in June 2013, I was elected the interim chairperson of the Vhembe district structures. From the groundwork we did in establishing the EFF in that region the leadership saw my efforts and found that I could contribute to the parliamentary project of the party.

What does your job as an MP entail? I am a permanent delegate in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) representing the province of Limpopo. As a Member of Parliament representing the EFF I am part of the finance and appropriations select committees. Select committees generally keep provinces abreast of legislative developments in Parliament as all Bills passed by the National Assembly have to come to the NCOP for concurrence. Therefore as the permanent delegate for Limpopo I am responsible for briefing the province on everything finance and appropriations related.

What is your impression of the Fifth Parliament so far? It is all about dictatorship both at committee level and in the NCOP. At committee level the chairpersons impose their party line upon members and at NCOP level only the EFF has rejected the Tax Laws Amendment Bill, because normally National Treasury brings legislation for approval without thoroughly explaining the intentions of a law. Moreover members are not given enough time to deliberate on a specific law at

committee level. Even in joint sittings of the National Assembly one gets easily thrown out of a sitting for simply having a different view and the major issue is that the ANC is both a player and a referee. The EFF has proposed getting retired judges to run the two Houses of Parliament because immediately if an EFF member rose on a point of order, the Presiding Officer would accuse you of being out of order, regardless of the legitimacy of the issue. What constituency area have you been assigned to you by your party? What has been most interesting about your constituency work so far? I am deployed to serve the entire Capricorn District of Limpopo which includes Molemole and Polokwane.

Villagers in my constituency area have realised that the ruling party does not value them because there are still no tarred roads, no tapped water and unemployment is high. The ANC only offers social grants. To date I am still lobbying for tapped water and the electrification of a village 170 kilometres outside Polokwane even though there is a water treatment works erected there. Additionally there is a village 70 kilometres outside Seshego which has a “white elephant” reservoir even though pipes had been laid down from Polokwane to that reservoir to supply water. There were also ten boreholes that had been drilled without producing any water. What are you most passionate about - this applies both in a political/professional arena as well as personally? The EFF has brought some change to parliament for example; the Nkandla matter had gone to court until its finalisation by the Constitutional Court.

What would your message to South Africa be? South Africans can see the good work that the EFF is doing as it holding the executive to account in Parliament. If the EFF can get the opportunity to run some of the municipalities more change will happen as there will be no cadre deployment in EFF run municipalities.

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