Those involved in State Capture will be held to account, whether in private sector or government

The following statement was delivered today by Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a press briefing in Parliament, Cape Town. Maimane was joined by Federal Executive Chairperson, James Selfe, and DA Chief Whip, John Steenhuisen
I want to begin by welcoming yesterday’s decision by ANC Member of Parliament, Dr Makhosi Khoza, to quit the ANC. For many, it is not an easy decision to leave the party of liberation in South Africa. She must congratulated for her bravery and integrity, and we hope the many like her within the ANC come to the same realisation she did: that the ANC is dead, and beyond the point of no return. Dr Khoza summed this up yesterday, when she said:
“If we were to prosecute all known corrupt cases including those implicated in the Gupta e-mails‚ almost 80–90% of the ANC leadership at all levels of government would have to replace their shiny tailored suites and pretty dresses with orange overalls”
It’s time for a new beginning for our nation, and that new beginning lies in a post-ANC South Africa.
Corruption is an oppressive system that operates to destroy work opportunities, and operates against ordinary South Africans at the expense of a few. Whether it is a councillor who accepts a bribe for an EPWP job, or a senior executive at a large corporate firm who unduly wins government contracts – South Africans suffer because of this. Our challenge is to dismantle corruption is all its forms.
Ever since the infamous “Gupta leaks” some months ago, our nation has been knocked with daily revelations and new information pertaining to the intricate web of corruption, extortion, and undue influence exercised by the President, numerous ministers in his cabinet, and the infamous Gupta family.
The emails, and the information uncovered subsequent to that, provides a surfeit of evidence showing that our country has been captured by the President and his ANC government to make themselves and their friends rich – while ordinary South Africans suffer in the plight of unemployment and poverty. It is this state capture and corruption the ANC continues to condone and protect.
However, over the past weeks, the extent of the rot of state capture and grand corruption in our nation has become chillingly apparent. The recent revelations that private sector companies, such as KPMG and McKinsey, allegedly aided Gupta-aligned companies to profit from government contracts drove home the uncomfortable reality that our country has truly been captured in its entirety – and our young democracy is under siege.
As the Democratic Alliance (DA), we maintain that anyone implicated in any form of corruption, collusion or State Capture – in either the public and private sector – must be held accountable and face the consequences of their actions. As such, we have begun tackling this issue head on, in order to ensure those who engage in corruption are brought to book for their actions.
Private Sector
International auditing firm, KPMG, has become embroiled in the state capture saga by allegedly providing technical international tax advice to Gupta-aligned companies and by helping facilitate funds being moved from South Africa to Dubai. The firm assisted with tax avoidance advice as well as the setting up of shell companies, which assisted Gupta-owned Linkway Trading in laundering R30-million in public funds to pay for the family’s 2013 Sun City wedding.
Since these revelations, the wheels of accountability have begun to turn at KPMG, with the forced resignation of at least 7 of its top executives– including the firm’s CEO and COO. Moreover, KPMG has signalled its intention to donate the profits earned to charity, and KPMG International has launched an internal investigation into this matter.
We welcome the fact that those who carried out corrupt work for Gupta-aligned companies are being held accountable for wrongdoing. However, there is still more to do. As such, we call on KPMG to take the following steps:

  • To offer a public explanation as to the details surrounding the KPMG report into the so-called “rogue unit” at SARS, which was used to undermine the South African Revenue Service (SARS). KPMG must clarify how the end product came about, why they failed their own internal quality controls, and whether anyone from SARS interfered in the process;
  • To open its books and make public all its dealings with those involved in state capture, including all Gupta-aligned companies and any government entities;
  • To ensure every individual implicated in any underhand work done for Gupta aligned interests be removed from the firm; and
  • To make public any bonuses or severage packages handed to senior executives following their removal or forced resignation.

I will also be writing to the Governor of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), Lesetja Kganyago, requesting that he confirm whether senior management at KPMG, or anyone else employed by them, reported any suspicious transactions to the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), as they would be obliged to do in terms of Section 29(1)(b) of the FIC Act 38 of 2001.
In addition to KPMG, international consultancy firm, McKinsey, appears to have paved the way for Gupta-linked firm Trillian to make hundreds of millions of rands from Eskom as it sub-contracted 30% of its Eskom work to the Trillian under the guise of ‘supplier development”.
Earlier this week, the DA laid criminal charges of fraud, racketeering and collusion in terms of Section 21 of the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act (PACCA) against McKinsey. We believe there are other avenues that ought to be pursued in addition to these charges. Therefore, I will be writing to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in London – where McKinsey’s Headquarters are located – requesting an investigation into the dealings in terms of the UK’s Bribery Act.
The DA will not back down in our pursuit of full accountability in these matters. As was evident in the Bell Pottinger case, those in the private sector who are caught in dodgy dealings with the powerful and the corrupt will be brought to book and face full accountability.
Public Sector
While the private sector has been responsive to these allegations and initiated accountability, when it comes to government, those at the top have thus far gotten away with corruption, collusion and aiding State Capture. In particular, cabinet ministers – including Malusi Gigaba, Lynne Brown, Des Van Rooyen, Mosebenzi Zwane and Faith Muthambi among others – face a litany of  State Capture allegations. Yet to date, not one minister has been held to account.
Section 92 of the constitution is clear: Ministers are accountable collectively and individually to Parliament for the exercise of their powers and performance of their functions. Moreover, section 237 of the constitution provides that constitutional obligations must be performed diligently and without delay.
However, this has not occured and it appears Parliament is in the process of breaching its constitutional obligations again – as the Constitutional Court found it to have done in the infamous Nkandla matter.
I had previously written to the Speaker on 29 May 2017 requesting that a draft resolution be placed on the Order Paper to establish an ad hoc committee to investigate these matters, as this would be the most appropriate way to holistically pursue accountability. This ad hoc committee was never established. Instead, on 20 June 2017, House Chairperson, Mr Frolick tasked the Portfolio Committees of Mineral Resources, Public Enterprises, Transport and Home Affairs with the responsibility of “urgently” probing the allegations of state capture insofar as they concerned those Ministers or departments.
Despite the mandate to probe “urgently”, these committees have proceeded with their work at a snail’s pace. Only the Public Enterprises Committee has appointed an evidence leader and has begun to hold hearings, however their probe is focused solely on Eskom, and excludes other players such as Transnet and Denel. The remaining three committees have achieved nothing in this regard.
Therefore, we are of the view that both the appointment of the four separate committees, instead of a single ad hoc committee, as well as the obfuscation and delays that have characterised the work of these committees constitute a deliberate attempt to undermine the responsibility of the National Assembly to hold the Executive to account. Even if not deliberate, the mere lack of urgency by the committees frustrates the National Assembly’s constitutional mandate.
It is for this reason that I have today written to Ms Baleka Mbete, the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly, requesting that our draft resolution be placed on the Order Paper to establish an ad hoc committee into State Capture by no later than 31 October 2017. The Speaker has now been put on notice and must act without delay. Given this and the seriousness and importance of these matters, we must place on record that if the Speaker does not issue the instruction concerned, we reserve our right to approach a Court for appropriate relief.
Furthermore, we request that the Speaker sees to it that a Disciplinary Committee is established – in terms of Rule 216 of the National Assembly Rules – to consider whether any of the following Ministers have acted in breach of their constitutional duties:

  • Malusi Gigaba
  • Faith Muthambi
  • Des Van Rooyen
  • Lynne Brown
  • Mosebenzi Zwane

We maintain that everyone involved in State Capture – ministers, companies, and any other individuals – be summoned to Parliament to be interrogated and held accountable if found guilty. We need to urgently get to the bottom of State Capture and its corrosive effect on our nation and its people.
As the official opposition, we will continue fighting corruption and State Capture with every possible instrument, because without defeating it, we cannot address our stubborn unemployment rate and we will never achieve economic freedom and equality for all South Africans. Only when we have defeated corruption, can we defeat the social ills prevalent in South Africa.
Ultimately, South Africans have the power to vote out State Capture and corruption at the ballot box in 2019, and choose a new beginning for our country.

Confronting State Capture: the DA’s priorities for Parliament’s Third Term

Note to Editors: The following brief on the DA’s priorities for Parliament’s Third Term was delivered today by the DA’s Chief Whip, John Steenhuisen MP, who was joined by his Deputy, Mike Waters MP, and the DA’s new Executive Director of Communications, Siviwe Gwarube
The significance of Parliament’s Third Term cannot be overstated. South Africa is confronted with an aggressive cancer called State Capture and those who enable and assist the looters have evaded accountability for far too long.
Parliament is uniquely placed to confront State Capture and the time to do so is now.
For months now the media, civil society and opposition parties have worked tirelessly to expose the nature and extent of the Gupta family’s influence over President Jacob Zuma and the ANC government. The DA’s upcoming Motion of No Confidence in President Zuma looms large and one week from now, on 8 August, every Member of the National Assembly will have to search within themselves and decide: does the looting continue unchecked, or do we act and remove the Looter-in-Chief.
The Motion of No Confidence in President Zuma has never been more relevant or more pressing. For far too long he has been allowed to escape accountability, with the ANC in Parliament an all too willing accomplice. Not even the damning findings of the Public Protector or the Constitutional Court could move a single ANC MP to take a stand against Zuma’s ruinous presidency in the House. When history judges this chapter in the story of South Africa, the DA in Parliament will not be found wanting. We have been and remain the vanguard in the fight against corruption and State Capture, and we are unwavering in the defence of our young democracy.
We are concerned that, on the matter of the secret ballot, the Speaker of the National Assembly will delay her decision to the last possible moment, hoping that the House will descend into chaos and the President will escape accountability. This strategy is extremely reckless and prejudicial to both the institution of Parliament and opposition parties who may choose to take her decision on review.
The DA does not, in principle, support secret ballots, except if there are extenuating circumstances, most notably when an individual member’s safety or life is threatened. In the present motion, there is objective evidence that such extenuating circumstances do exist. ANC MP Makhosi Khoza has been the most notable person to suffer threats against her family and her life, but others have been similarly threatened and intimidated. Only yesterday, the Chief Whip of the ANC launched a broadside aimed at Mondli Gungubele, describing his stated intention to not toe the ANC party line as “a defiance campaign”. We can only reasonably infer that ANC MPs who vote with their conscience will be the subject to punitive action, threatening their livelihood or even worse. For this specific motion, we support a secret ballot. Nevertheless, the DA’s vote is no secret.
We have all noted, with interest, that some in the ANC have grown vocal in their condemnation of State Capture. Even Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa seems to have found his voice, crowing that he will “not remain silent” or “turn a blind eye”. We say to the Deputy President and Leader of Government Business in Parliament, the time has come to speak out where and when it matters: not at carefully stage-managed events advancing your presidential aspirations, but in the House where the ANC has time and time and time again voted to keep Zuma in power. On every previous occasion, Ramaphosa has nailed his colours to Zuma’s mast, and has blithely continued to keep his government on even keel.
The Third (Short) Term
Sadly, the Third Term will be all too brief. Although it has officially commenced, the first ‘normal’ sitting of the National Assembly is only set for 22 August and is followed by a mere eight more scheduled sittings. During this brief three week period, the NA is scheduled to have only four oral questions sessions, including the President, Deputy President (twice) and the Peace and Security cluster. As such, the accountability-shy ministers of Finance, Public Enterprises or Social Development will not be called upon to explain what they’re doing about the ailing economy, our failing SOEs, or the social grants crisis. Opportunities for these and other ministers to answer to Parliament via their committees are also limited and, considering their indifferent attendance record, there is the very real possibility of some ministers not accounting to Parliament at all in the Third Term. The DA will do everything possible in the third term to hold these Ministers to account. DA Members serving on crucial committees will insist that errand ministers are called to explain the state of affairs at their departments.
There are currently only three slots to deal with legislation and, as with previous years, the Fourth Term is set to be another panicked scramble to clear the backlog. There are currently no fewer than 30 bills in NA committees and only two on the Order Paper for second reading. Of these bills, 16 date back to 2016 or 2015. Another bill, the Medical Innovation Bill, dates back to 2014. The Legislature is fast losing its right to be so called.
State Capture probe moves to committee
The DA recognises the limited opportunity for dealing with the most pressing matters in the House. Nevertheless, we believe that Parliament’s investigation into State Capture should now move to its committees.
We have on several occasions called for the creation of an Ad Hoc Committee on State Capture. The DA has successfully lobbied opposition parties to support this initiative, but the ANC remains opposed. We are undeterred and will move our motion for the establishment of this crucial committee at the first opportunity in the House. Those who are opposed to State Capture being investigated by a dedicated ad hoc committee should explain why, or for whose benefit.
On 15 June, House Chairperson of Committees, Cedric Frolick, instructed chairpersons of the portfolio committees on Home Affairs, Mineral Resources, Public Enterprises and Transport to “get to the bottom of the [State Capture] allegations”. We immediately warned that Frolick, acting entirely outside his powers, was limiting the scope of the inquiry and without justification. Worse still, subsequent events in some of these portfolio committees have further raised concerns about this already limited probe being frustrated. As illustration, the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs twice failed to get Malusi Gigaba to appear and explain the Guptas’ questionable naturalisation; the chairperson and the ANC members of this committee have also shown little appetite to summon the only man that can explain.
The DA will not accept any effort to limit the state capture probe and will instruct all of our Members serving on any relevant committee to table any and all evidence of State Capture. The e-mails will be tabled and committees will be forced to confront the allegations. This will not be limited to the four committees mandated by Frolick. Importantly, while we will do everything that we can to see an ad hoc committee established, in the absence of this central investigation, we will ensure that any and all committees of Parliament do their part to hold the ANC led government accountable for allowing the capture of our State.
It has become a habit of President Zuma to shuffle his Cabinet and re-deploy his failing ministers, allowing them to escape accountability. Serving ministers that have been positively linked to the Guptas include:

  • Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, formerly of Home Affairs and Public Enterprises;
  • Minister of Public Service and Administration, Faith Muthambi, formerly of Communications; and
  • Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Des van Rooyen, fleetingly of Finance

Some committees have proven unwilling to call on former ministers to account for executive decisions made in their previous role, instead summoning the incumbent, or even department officials, who did not make the decision.
The foolishness of fragmenting the State Capture probe is fast becoming self-evident. Individual committees have already stressed the need for Evidence Leaders, legal support and technical expertise. We will be writing to both the Secretary and Speaker of the NA asking for assurances that each committee will be properly capacitated and staffed. Ultimately, you will be able to measure the seriousness with which Parliament is taking the State Capture probe by the resources that are dedicated to it.
Addressing unanswered questions
The Executive is not only failing to meet their committee obligations. They are also undermining another crucial Parliamentary mechanism, namely written questions. Questions posed by Members exercising their oversight mandate are, according to the rules, supposed to be answered within ten working days although responsible ministers may ask the Speaker, in writing, for an extension not exceeding a further ten working days “on good cause shown”. Despite this rule, some ministers have questions dating back to the beginning of the year which remain unanswered.
It is genuinely concerning that ministers in crucial departments have such astonishingly high numbers of outstanding replies. The Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, has no fewer than 97 unanswered questions, some more than 20 weeks old. The ministers of Communications, Social Development and Basic Education have 33, 19 and 18 unanswered questions, respectively, with Bathabile Dlamini failing to answer questions which were first submitted in 2016 and have, after lapsing, been resubmitted.
Another disturbing trend is replies with information being withheld on dubious “security grounds”. By illustration, the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans refuses to answer valid questions on the presidential jet. These are refused on the grounds that they relate to the “movement of the VVIP, and for security reasons, the response to this question can only be presented to a closed session of the Joint Standing Committee on Defence.” Meanwhile, the Minister of State Security’s standard response is that the reply has been tabled with the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence, a closed forum.
Our otherwise preoccupied Minister of Police has failed to answer questions on issues ranging from Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s security detail; the VIP protection unit; airport robberies; drugs; detective-to-docket ratios; firearm safety; domestic violence; sexual violence; the restructuring of Crime Intelligence; and police officers doing business with the state.
Yet increasingly the Minister of Police is also refusing to provide replies on security grounds. When asked to explain on what grounds VIP protection details are assigned to persons who are not a President, Minister, Deputy Minister, First Lady or foreign dignitary, the Minister vaguely replied that “the reasons for protection are based on the outcome of individual threat assessments” and provided no further insight. On challenging a 2015 reply relating to the number and cost of trips completed by President Zuma’s VIP Protection Services – even exempting operational, geographical, chronological or other details – the Minister vacuously responded by saying “[t]he required information has direct security implications, which cannot be disclosed”. Perhaps recent revelations about the President’s trips to Dubai explains his reticence.
Individual ministers have also been reticent to reply to questions related to State Capture. Notably, the Minister of Public Enterprises has failed to answer questions relating to the Dentons Report and the Eskom Board; contracts signed by Mr Brian Molefe during his brief reappointed at Eskom and, previously, Transnet; and various contracts state-owned entities (SOEs) entered into with companies tainted by State Capture allegations, such as VR Laser SA. Minister Brown has also chosen to withhold information due to its “commercially sensitive nature” when asked about SOEs like Transnet and Neotel.
The DA continues to take the lead in using this crucial Parliamentary mechanism to hold the Executive to account, asking 1,798 written questions since the start of the year compared to zero from the ANC and a paltry 243 from other parties combined. Yet this important tool is also under threat due to the Executive’s intransigence or willful neglect.
It is important to recall that the Leader of Government Business is tasked, among others, with monitoring replies and he reports back to Cabinet on a bi-weekly basis once he receives the Leader of Government Business Reports – essentially the Summary of Questions at the end of the Question Papers – on unanswered questions. In his own words, the Deputy President said on 11 May 2017 that “[w]here problems are identified, especially with regards to outstanding Parliamentary Questions, all Ministers are reminded of their obligations to reply to questions per the arranged schedule”. The DA will impose on the Deputy President to show leadership and address the matter of unanswered questions as a matter of priority. Parliamentarians cannot be hampered in their Constitutional mandate to hold Government to account.
The way forward
Despite the challenges identified, the DA keenly anticipates a productive Third Term punctuated by Parliament confronting State Capture through its many mechanisms, be it committees or Parliamentary questions. The ANC’s long-standing project of undermining Parliament will not succeed as long as we serve the Legislature.

Public should be properly consulted on the feasibility of a “Single Human Rights Body”

The DA will today write to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to have the closing date for written submissions on the “Feasibility of the Establishment of a Single Human Rights Body” extended.
The call for written submissions was first advertised on 14 May, yet the closing date for submissions is 25 May.
Parliament appointed an ad hoc committee, chaired by the late Kader Asmal, in 2006 to undertake a Review of Chapter Nine and Associated Institutions and was presented with a report a year later.
Astonishingly, the Office on Institutions Supporting Democracy (OISD), a unit located in the Office of the Speaker, has now given the public less than two weeks to provide submissions on the process to examine the feasibility of the proposed “single body”.
The institutions affected by this proposal, created by Chapter 9 of the Constitution, include the South African Human Rights Commission, the Commission for Gender Equality, the Pan South African Language Board, and others.
In 2009, Kader Asmal called the failure of Parliament to debate the committee’s report “an appalling scandal”. Now the OISD is engineering another appalling scandal by allowing the public a mere nine working days to weigh in on the process.
As recently as 2 March 2017, I repeated the DA’s call for the establishment of a parliamentary committee to receive and process reports completed by Chapter 9 institutions. Weeks earlier, I had enquired about reports by Chapter 9 institutions which had not been tabled. The Speaker assured me, in writing, that all reports had been tabled, yet no fewer than three SAHRC reports were tabled a week later, one of which dated back to 2014.
The DA welcomes the long-overdue consideration of the findings and the recommendations of the Kader Asmal Report. However, we object to the seeming haste with which the OISD wants to complete public participation. Indeed, we feel that the establishment of a parliamentary committee to receive and process reports completed by Chapter 9 institutions should be prioritised while this process is allowed to run its course.

Parliament must not be found wanting

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, has today committed to a “process of consultation” with relevant parties in respect of the DA’s Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma – tabled on 30 March in terms of Section 102 of the Constitution.
Following Zuma’s midnight Cabinet cull, the DA also called for Parliament to reconvene immediately for this motion to be debated.
Whilst we appreciate Mbete’s duty to consult, we cannot allow her office to dawdle. It is disappointing that she is set to visit Luthuli House tomorrow and Parliament only on Tuesday. Her priorities are clear for all to see.
Historically, Mbete’s loyalty to Zuma has been unwavering and she has rarely hesitated to undermine the institution of Parliament to shield him.
South Africa is now experiencing a groundswell of opposition to Zuma and his undisguised project of state capture. Parliament cannot be side-lined by a biased Speaker who puts party before country.
Mbete must fast-track her consultation and schedule a sitting of the National Assembly immediately.

Speaker must reconvene Parliament immediately for Vote of No Confidence

I have written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, to request that Parliament resume immediately and that an urgent sitting of the House be scheduled at the very earliest opportunity.
The DA tabled a Motion of No Confidence in President Jacob Zuma – in terms of Section 102 of the Constitution – on 30 March. A debate on this crucial motion simply cannot wait and it should be scheduled for next week.
President Zuma dumped the whole country into an entirely avoidable crisis with his reckless decision to replace 15 members of Cabinet, including the Minister of Finance and his deputy, Pravin Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas. This purging of his Cabinet, cowardly communicated via a media statement released late on 30 March, was done without offering a reasonable explanation and has only fuelled speculation about his motivations and intentions.
Parliament is empowered by the Constitution to exercise executive oversight and should do so now. It cannot be seen to be missing in action amidst this tempest. It is incumbent on the Speaker to call the people’s representatives back for an immediate sitting of the House.

Inspector General of Intelligence must investigate Chief Justice office robbery

Media reports today, quoting sources close to the investigation of the break-in at the Office of the Chief Justice on 18 March, claim that the leading suspect in the case, Nkosinathi Msimango, has links to the State Security Agency (SSA).
I will be writing to the newly appointed Inspector-General of Intelligence (IGI), Dr Setlhomamaru Isaac Dintwe, requesting that his office also investigate the incident and the alleged link with the SSA.
The DA is on record saying that the burglary is highly suspicious, and can only be viewed as an act of intimidation targeting our judiciary.
We are also on record calling on Dintwe to investigate the growing dysfunction in the intelligence services and address suspicions of the intelligence services involving itself in political intrigue.
We believe it is incumbent on the Minister of State Security, David Mahlobo, to address claims of SSA involvement in this outrageous crime and to clarify Msimango relationship with the SSA, if any.
The significance of the break-in at the office of the Chief Justice cannot be downplayed and nothing short of a complete and thorough investigation is required, including an investigation into state involvement.

Two years without an Inspector General of Intelligence as we celebrate the Constitution that created the position

The DA calls on President Jacob Zuma to stop dragging his heels and appoint Prof Setlhomamaru Isaac Dintwe as the new Inspector-General of Intelligence (IGI).
This crucial position, created by section 210(b) of the Constitution, has now been vacant since March 2015. As a consequence, there has been no oversight of South Africa’s intelligence services for nearly two full years!
Prof Dintwe was found to be the most suitable candidate for the position and, on 29 November 2016, the National Assembly passed a resolution approving the recommendation for the appointment of Prof Dintwe to the vacant post.
The DA has been tireless in its efforts to finalise the appointment of a suitable IGI. In March 2016 the DA successfully blocked the nomination of Cecil Burgess, the architect of the “Secrecy Bill” and a “whitewashed” report on “Nkandlagate”, to the post of IGI. Six months later we wrote to the chairperson of the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence demanding that the committee urgently reconvene and resume its search for an IGI.
At the time, the DA vehemently objected to the appointment of Arthur Fraser as the new Director-General of the State Security Agency. Fraser’s suitability for the position is highly questionable and the new IGI must make an investigation into this dubious appointment his first order of business.
Ultimately, the IGI must investigate the Minister of State Security, David Mahlobo, who has been proven to keep company with rhino horn traffickers, organised crime figures and criminally accused student “leaders”, among others.
Parliament today launched, to much fanfare, a campaign to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Constitution and the NCOP. Meanwhile, the IGI, a constitutional appointment, “celebrates” two years of being vacant. All the while, Minister Mahlobo and his cronies continue to have unbridled access to the security services without civilian oversight. Prof Dintwe has been tapped to fulfil this important function. He must be allowed to start his work.

The Speaker is very poorly “informed”

In today’s meeting of the National Assembly Programming Committee (NAPC), I repeated the DA’s call for the establishment of a parliamentary committee to receive and process reports completed by Chapter 9 institutions.
On 21 February the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, responded to my question, posed during NAPC the week before, as to whether any reports of Chapter 9 Institutions had not yet been tabled. In her letter, she said: “I am informed that all reports from Chapter 9 Institutions that were submitted to my office were tabled and referred to the relevant parliamentary structures, including reports of the South African Human Rights Commission.”
Less than one week later, no fewer than three SAHRC reports were tabled on 27 February. One of these, a report on Investigative Hearing into Safety and Security Challenges in Farming Communities in South Africa, was released in October 2014! The other two reports, into the Impact of Protest-related Action on the Right to a Basic Education in South Africa and on Transformation at Public Universities in South Africa, were released in September and December 2016, respectively.
All three reports pertain to very pertinent issues.
It is disturbing that these reports were only tabled after the DA enquired about them. It is even more disturbing that the Speaker misled Parliament and myself. Increasingly, Parliament is failing to do its job and increasingly it quietly ‘self-corrects’ once the opposition points out their failings. This is a worrisome trend.
This latest mishandling of reports shows once again the urgency of establishing a parliamentary committee to receive and process reports completed by Chapter 9 institutions, including reports completed by the Public Protector and the SAHRC.