Deputy Speaker, the DA vehemently opposes this report and its recommendation to appoint Vuma Glenton Mashinini, a known ally of and personal adviser to President Jacob Zuma, as one of the IEC commissioners.
At last week's Home Affairs Portfolio Committee meeting the ANC used its majority to bulldoze Mashinini's candidacy through the review process. [Interjections.] Mashinini's close relationship with the President presents a clear conflict of interest that renders him unsuitable to hold office in a Chapter 9 institution charged with the carrying out of free and fair elections and remaining politically independent.
Deputy Speaker, the ideal candidate is one who is independent and commands the respect of all political parties in this House, and not just the ANC. [Applause.]
Let us examine for a minute what his CV says about his independence. According to his CV, he was actively involved with the ANC abroad; he was actively involved in the ANC's political campaigns; he participated in the ANC alliance delegations; and he was an ANC provincial organiser, as well as an ANC spokesperson. [Applause.]
I ask you, Deputy Speaker: Is this an ANC that bothers about democracy in South Africa, or about protecting their President?
The IEC is one of South Africa's constitutional cornerstones and Mashinini's recommendation flies directly in the face of the institution's principles. [Interjections.]
It is also worth noting that currently the board is all male, and the ANC, which would prefer to protect the President rather than our democratic institutions, dismissed a string of suitable and impartial female candidates that would have brought much needed skills, experience and gender equity to the board. [Interjections.]
The chairpersonship of this institution must be held by someone who is beyond reproach and capable of fairly and effectively running an organisation that manages multimillion rand budgets and the electoral credibility of our country.
The DA does not believe that Mr Mashinini is a suitable candidate and strongly urges this House not to support this recommendation. I thank you. [Applause.]