State cap­ture in­quiry ‘a must’

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA

THE DA is con­vinced that there is a need for the es­tab­lish­ment of a par­lia­men­tary ad hoc com­mit­tee into state cap­ture.

“We be­lieve root­ing out state cap­ture, fraud, cor­rup­tion and rack­e­teer­ing can do no harm.

“It can only do good be­cause no harm can come from too much ac­count­abil­ity,” DA chief whip John Steen­huisen said yes­ter­day.

He made the com­ments at a me­dia brief­ing as his party pushes for Par­lia­ment to form the com­mit­tee when it sits for its last meet­ing of the term on Thurs­day.

The DA, through party leader Mmusi Maimane, tabled a mo­tion for the com­mit­tee two weeks ago.

The Gup­tas, Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and some cabi­net min­is­ters are at the cen­tre of ac­cu­sa­tions on the cap­ture of the state.

Leaked emails have sparked fur­ther calls for an in­quiry in some quar­ters.

Par­ties need to reach con­sen­sus in the chief whips fo­rum so that the mo­tion can be in­cluded in the pro­gramme com­mit­tee be­fore it is brought to the House for a vote.

The DA was asked last week by its chief whip fo­rum to cir­cu­late a draft res­o­lu­tion for a dis­cus­sion for its meet­ing to­mor­row.

“Chief whips of all the par­ties will get to de­cide on the mo­tion. We be­lieve the chief whips fo­rum will have an op­por­tu­nity on Wed­nes­day to agree on the mo­tion,” Steen­huisen said.

Par­ties were not im­me­di­ately avail­able for com­ment yes­ter­day. ANC cau­cus spokesper­son Non­ceba Mh­lauli said the gov­ern­ing party had not pro­nounced on the mat­ter.

“The ANC has not taken a po­si­tion, but the DA was asked to come up with the ac­tual draft res­o­lu­tion,” Mh­lauli said.

The Gupta fam­ily’s at­tor­ney, Gert van der Merwe, was asked for com­ment, but had not done so at the time of pub­li­ca­tion.

Steen­huisen urged all par­ties to sup­port their mo­tion and work along­side each other, as they did in the SABC in­quiry.

“We are to see on Thurs­day which party is com­mit­ted to give this House its teeth back to hold the ex­ec­u­tive ac­count­able.

“Any party op­posed to the ad hoc com­mit­tee with no rea­son will have to answer tough ques­tions, not only to jour­nal­ists but to the peo­ple of South Africa.”

Steen­huisen said his party strongly be­lieved that Par­lia­ment, in terms of the con­sti­tu­tion, had the duty to in­ves­ti­gate and rem­edy the cap­ture of the ex­ec­u­tive.

“We be­lieve that the ad hoc com­mit­tee of Par­lia­ment is best placed to do so. What we can’t have is a sit­u­a­tion where Par­lia­ment is once again found want­ing to hold the ex­ec­u­tive ac­count­able.”

While the DA wel­comed the calls for a ju­di­cial in­quiry into state cap­ture, Steen­huisen said Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma should not be al­lowed to ob­fus­cate and drag the mat­ter out in court.

Yes­ter­day, Zuma lodged a counter-ap­pli­ca­tion in the Pre­to­ria High Court to the DA’s claim that he had flouted the re­me­dial ac­tion of for­mer pub­lic pro­tec­tor Thuli Madon­sela to probe state cap­ture.

“That is why the DA will push for Par­lia­ment to do its job, and to per­form its work and re­spon­si­bil­ity placed in it by the con­sti­tu­tion to ex­pose the cap­ture of the ex­ec­u­tive, and to stop the loot­ing,” Steen­huisen said.

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