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ANC rejects DA proposal for parliament to start dealing with Zondo reports

The fourth part of the state capture inquiry report was presented to the presidency on Friday morning. The inquiry was chaired by chief justice Raymond Zondo. File image.
The fourth part of the state capture inquiry report was presented to the presidency on Friday morning. The inquiry was chaired by chief justice Raymond Zondo. File image.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

The ANC has rejected a suggestion by the DA for parliament to start processing the state capture commission reports, especially the sections pertaining to the institution and its oversight role.

DA deputy chief whip Siviwe Gwarube proposed on Thursday that instead of waiting for President Cyril Ramaphosa to table the final Zondo report, parliament should move to address matters identified in the reports that are already published and which relate to parliament.  

In her submission to the National Assembly programming committee, Gwarube noted that speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula circulated a timeline or a process document on how parliament will deal in broad terms with the Zondo report once Ramaphosa tables it.

Ramaphosa has, upon receiving the final Zondo report, about four months to table a plan in parliament on how he will deal with Zondo’s recommendations.

Gwarube said Ramaphosa would table a report with an action plan as it pertains to the functions of the executive.

“But now what we are seeing is that there are sections of the [latest] report which pertain to the functions of parliament, or at least where parliament would have erred or where there are gaps in parliament.”

Thus the legislature should amend its original timetable, start its own process or at least set up its own system to look specifically at the role of parliament regarding state capture and how and when it will deal with those sections of the report.

“This does not have to wait for the president, because the president is not going to make any proclamation on the role of parliament but will be speaking to the implementation on the executive,” she said.

ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina said acting before Ramaphosa tabled Zondo’s final report would be jumping the gun.

“We as parliament have not instituted a state capture commission. It was through the president and cabinet and therefore in accordance with the rules, the president has to bring the report formally to parliament, then we act.

“I don’t understand why we should jump the gun and not wait for the actual report to be tabled so we can follow due processes.

“The report is not going to vanish. We are going to deal with it as parliament, but we cannot be taking the report piecemeal. Let’s allow the report to be finalised.”

DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone suggested that if parliament did not deal with the Zondo report with urgency, South Africans would lose confidence in the institution and say “typical parliament”.

Mapisa-Nqakula interjected and admonished her, saying she took exception to suggestions that parliament may not deal with the report.

“We have proposed a process on how to take the Zondo report forward once the president has presented it to parliament.

“When the president sends the report to parliament within four months, he will not just be providing us with a report, he will be submitting a plan of action on how to deal with the recommendations and parliament will deal, among other things, with areas that directly affect their work of oversight in the different portfolios.

“So there is no doubt that parliament will deal with the Zondo report. That there’s a delay in doing so because we are waiting for the president to make that submission does not in any way take away the responsibility. We are not shying away from dealing with the Zondo report,” said Mapisa-Nqakula.

The meeting also heard that Ramaphosa had submitted part 3 of the report to parliament and the legal services unit was advising Mapisa-Nqakula on how it should be dealt with.

Secretary of the National Assembly Masibulele Xaso said part of the report dealt with certain MPs, former and current, who are implicated.

Mapisa-Nqakula confirmed she had received legal opinion on the matter.

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