ANC to Woods : We Won't Axe You
The ANC has assured Gavin Woods, the chairman of
Parliament's standing committee on public accounts, that it will not act to
But the ruling party still intends to insist that
Woods be censured for acting ultra vires (beyond his legal authority) by going
beyond his mandate in dealings on the R43-billion arms-purchase inquiry.
The assurance that Woods, an IFP member, would
not be removed follows the removal of ANC MP Andrew Feinstein as leader of the
ANC on the committee. Feinstein and Woods had worked closely together during the
ANC MP Vincent Smith said he had met Woods this
week to reassure him the ANC wanted him to stay on as chairman of the standing
committee. The move is certain to improve the unity of the committee, but it
still faces some difficult issues.
Chief among these is a decision on whether Woods
acted ultra vires when he wrote to President Thabo Mbeki asking him to include
Judge Willem Heath's Special Investigating Unit in the arms inquiry.
Deputy President Jacob Zuma wrote back to Woods,
accusing him of acting ultra vires on the grounds that he believed it was
Woods's personal desire rather than the committee's that Heath should be
With acknowledgment to Carol Paton and Sunday Times.