State capture inquiry ‘a must’
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.