Par­lia­ment to probe min­istries

Afro Voice (National Edition) - - POLITICS - DEN­NIS CRUYWAGEN news@the­

PAR­LIA­MENT has moved to ex­er­cise its over­sight role with dif­fer­ent port­fo­lio com­mit­tees re­solv­ing to in­ves­ti­gate the Depart­ment of Wa­ter and San­i­ta­tion and state cap­ture in the Depart­ment of Min­eral Re­sources.

Yes­ter­day, the Min­eral Re­sources Port­fo­lio Com­mit­tee de­clared that it wanted to be­gin an in­quiry into al­le­ga­tions of state cap­ture at the Depart­ment of Min­eral Re­sources when mem­bers of Par­lia­ment re­turn to work af­ter the Easter re­cess in April. It wants to com­plete the in­quiry in 60 days.

This will be the sec­ond Par­lia­men­tary probe into state cap­ture. The first one was started last year by the Pub­lic En­ter­prises Port­fo­lio Com­mit­tee.

The Port­fo­lio Com­mit­tee on Wa­ter and San­i­ta­tion and the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on Pub­lic Ac­counts (Scopa) also de­cided yes­ter­day to hold a joint in­quiry to deal with as­pects of the work of the Depart­ment of Wa­ter and San­i­ta­tion.

The Min­eral Re­sources Port­fo­lio Com­mit­tee will write to the House chair­per­son, Cedrick Frolick, who last year in­structed some port­fo­lio com­mit­tees to in­ves­ti­gate state cap­ture al­le­ga­tions, to ask for some­one with a law back­ground to lead ev­i­dence in the in­quiry on al­le­ga­tions of state cap­ture at the Depart­ment of Min­eral Re­sources.

The ev­i­dence leader will also as­sist in fi­nal­is­ing the in­quiry’s terms of ref­er­ence, in­ves­ti­gate ev­i­dence and iden­tify key wit­nesses.

“The al­le­ga­tions have been hang­ing for far too long, thereby ne­ces­si­tat­ing a need to move with speed, with­out com­pro­mis­ing the in­tegrity of the process,” said the chair­per­son of the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee Sahlulele Luzipo.

The Wa­ter and San­i­ta­tion Port­fo­lio Com­mit­tee said in a state­ment its has agreed to a joint com­mis­sion of in­quiry with Scopa.

The two port­fo­lio com­mit­tees have agreed on the need to iden­tify fo­cus ar­eas that would stem from var­i­ous sources, such as the au­di­tor-gen­eral, the na­tional Trea­sury, Scopa and the Spe­cial In­ves­tiga­tive Unit re­ports.

They have also agreed to set clear time frames for the process of the in­quiry so that there is ef­fec­tive con­se­quence man­age­ment af­ter this process.

The co-chair­per­sons will en­gage the au­di­tor-gen­eral, the na­tional Trea­sury and the SIU to as­cer­tain the age anal­y­sis of the find­ings and also on the fi­nances. The process of the scope of the in­quiry will be de­ter­mined af­ter the en­gage­ment with the AG, na­tional Trea­sury and the SIU.

“The joint com­mit­tee has also agreed to have a pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion process that will re­quest sub­mis­sions from mem­bers of the pub­lic to add value to the in­quiry. The joint com­mit­tee has agreed that there is a need for an ev­i­dence leader in this process. It has been agreed that a process of law en­force­ment must work in par­al­lel with the in­quiry where there are any il­le­gal trans­gres­sions,” Scopa chair­per­son Themba Godi said in a state­ment is­sued on be­half of both port­fo­lio com­mit­tees.

Mean­while, the ANC study group on wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion has said in a state­ment that it sup­ports the de­ci­sion for a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Depart­ment of Wa­ter and San­i­ta­tion.

“Hav­ing iden­ti­fied the key fo­cal points for the in­quiry, which in­clude but are not lim­ited to, the mis­man­age­ment of pub­lic funds, lack of lead­er­ship and fail­ure of project man­age­ment, the joint meet­ing agreed to en­gage the AG and the na­tional Trea­sury in or­der to de­ter­mine the scope for the in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” the study group whip, Patrick Chauke said.

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