Neither Parliament nor ANC is paying for Mbete’s ‘private’ Speaker’s Ball in Camps Bay
TMG Digital | 2017-02-08 08:08:50.0
National ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete. Photo file.
Image by: Waldo Swiegers
Waldo Swiegers / Sunday Times
It is “unimaginable and improbable” that the Speaker’s Ball would be funded by Parliament‚ the African National Congress said on Wednesday.
Questions have swirled this week about who was footing to the bill for the post-state of the nation address function to be held at a hotel in Camps Bay on Thursday.
The question remained unanswered‚ but Baleka Mbete‚ the national chairperson of the ANC‚ said in a statement that she “notes the ongoing media speculation around the Speaker’s Ball she is hosting in her capacity as speaker of the National Assembly”.
She described the event as “a private dinner hosted by the speaker… for stakeholders‚ her colleagues‚ friends and comrades”.
“This dinner is not hosted nor funded by neither the African National Congress nor Parliament. It is a private dinner‚” said Mbete.
The statement noted that the ball was held for the first time last year on “the eve of the state of the nation address” and added that “Mbete intends on having this dinner as an annual meeting and networking opportunity for those close to her”.
She also said that Parliament “has over the last three years‚ under the instruction of the speaker‚ not hosted any post-SONA dinner as part of the institution’s comprehensive cost-containment measures and sensitivity to the difficult economic conditions under which the majority of South Africans live”.
“In this regard‚ it would be both unimaginable and improbable for the Speaker’s event to then be funded by the institution. Any insinuation to this effect is rejected with the contempt it deserves.”