State cap­ture com­mit­tee still await­ing go-ahead

Par­ties have not en­dorsed par­lia­men­tary plan

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

PAR­TIES in Par­lia­ment have not for­mally en­dorsed a pro­posal for an ad hoc com­mit­tee to be set up to probe state cap­ture fol­low­ing the leak­ing of thou­sands of emails seem­ingly im­pli­cat­ing top gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing min­is­ters, in the busi­ness op­er­a­tions of the Gupta family.

The DA tabled a pro­posal for the set­ting up of such a com­mit­tee at a meet­ing of party chief whips ast week.

The ANC said yes­ter­day it had not yet taken a po­si­tion on the mat­ter.

ANC cau­cus spokesper­son Non­ceba Mh­lauli said she would not com­ment on de­ci­sions of the cau­cus as they were in­ter­nal mat­ters.

“The ANC has not taken a po­si­tion on the mat­ter. Cau­cus dis­cus­sions are in­ter­nal dis­cus­sions,” she said when pressed for in­for­ma­tion of what the party cau­cus had dis­cussed last week.

DA deputy chief whip Mike Wa­ters said his party had tabled the pro­posal for the es­tab­lish­ment of an ad hoc com­mit­tee into state cap­ture.

He said the ANC had in­di­cated at the meet­ing last week it would dis­cuss this at its cau­cus meet­ing.

The DA said it wanted a par­lia­men­tary in­quiry into state cap­ture fol­low­ing the emails that have im­pli­cated top gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials as hav­ing been “cap­tured” by the Gup­tas.

In ad­di­tion to se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, the emails con­tain names of chief ex­ec­u­tives, chair­per­sons of boards and other ex­ec­u­tives in sta­te­owned en­ti­ties.

The DA and EFF have laid crim­i­nal charges against those who ap­pear to be im­pli­cated in state cap­ture.

The of­fi­cial op­po­si­tion said last week it wanted to ta­ble the pro­posal to the Chief Whips Fo­rum, where a de­ci­sion would have to be taken.

Other op­po­si­tion par­ties have backed an in­quiry into state cap­ture.

In her “State of Cap­ture” report re­leased in Oc­to­ber, for­mer pub­lic pro­tec­tor Thuli Madon­sela said a com­mis­sion of in­quiry was needed to in­ves­ti­gate state-owned en­ti­ties and other gov­ern­ment agen­cies.

How­ever, Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma has ob­jected to her report and has taken it on re­view. Zuma is op­posed to, among other things, be­ing di­rected by the pub­lic pro­tec­tor on the ap­point­ment of the com­mis­sion of in­quiry.

The law and con­sti­tu­tion give such pow­ers to the pres­i­dent, he ar­gued.

In his re­ply in Par­lia­ment last week, Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa said he fully sup­ported the com­mis­sion of in­quiry into state cap­ture.

He said South Africa needed to get the mat­ter be­hind it. He said the ANC had also backed it af­ter the meet­ing of the na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee a few weeks ago.

He de­nied that the ANC wanted to de­lay the in­quiry by stretch­ing the scope be­yond the Gup­tas.

Zuma will be in Par­lia­ment on Thurs­day, where he will face ques­tions on state cap­ture and the is­sues around it.

This is a sched­uled ques­tion-and-an­swer ses­sion be­tween Zuma and Par­lia­ment.

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