Parliament’s State Capture committees must get to work

The DA urges the committees that have been tasked to probe State Capture to begin their important work immediately. To assist in this task, the DA will be tabling the #GuptaLeaks e-mails in the relevant committees this week, on 15 and 16 August.
Tomorrow will be exactly two months since House Chairperson of Committees, Cedric Frolick, directed the chairpersons of the portfolio committees on Home Affairs, Mineral Resources, Public Enterprises and Transport to “urgently probe the [State Capture] allegations and report back to the National Assembly”. The chairpersons were also directed to “ensure immediate engagement with the concerned Ministers to ensure that Parliament gets to the bottom of the allegations”.
All these committees are scheduled to meet this week, but worryingly only the PC’s on Public Enterprises and Mineral Resources are set to busy themselves with State Capture-related matters. Even more worryingly, only one meeting for each of the four committees have so far been scheduled for the Third Term.
The DA previously warned that Frolick, acting entirely outside his powers, was limiting the scope of the State Capture inquiry and without justification. This process is now being frustrated even further by a lack of urgency and action.
Parliament is best placed to deal with State Capture and is empowered to identify perpetrators, including those in the Executive, and hold them accountable. The Legislature has an opportunity to recover from its purposeful bungling of the Nkandla matter and should never again be found wanting.
On 3 August, I wrote to both the House Chairperson and the Acting Secretary to Parliament to plead that these committees be adequately capacitated and staffed. It is now essential that each committee have evidence leaders, researchers and legal advisors appointed to assist in the process of compiling the terms of reference, witness lists and documentation lists.
Too much time has passed since the #GuptaLeaks e-mails exposed the true nature and extent of the Gupta family’s influence over President Jacob Zuma and the ANC government. During last week’s debate on the DA’s Motion of No Confidence in President Zuma, not one speaker from the ANC mentioned the Guptas, clearly showing that their project of State Capture is either wilfully being ignored or endorsed by the ANC.
The DA does not share the ANC’s selective amnesia and will not allow Parliament’s probe into State Capture to be stalled any longer. We heard the clarion call of South Africans who took to the streets countrywide on 8 August, calling for an end to the looting and demanding action.