Parliament hands over state capture evidence to Zondo inquiry
Parliament has officially handed over the evidence it gathered during its inquiry into the alleged capture of Eskom by the Guptas to the judicial commission of inquiry headed by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.
This is according to senior ANC MP and National Assembly house chairperson responsible for committees Cedric Frolick‚ who was speaking in the assembly during a debate on Parliament's budget for the 2018/2019 financial year.
Frolick told MPs that he last week handed over "volumes of transcripts and other evidence" to former auditor-general Terence Nombembe who is now the lead investigator of the judicial inquiry into the state capture.
"Volumes of transcripts of committee minutes and other evidence that was before the respective committees were handed over to the commission. It was agreed that the National Assembly would co-operate closely with the inquiry as the need arises‚" said Frolick.
Frolick also used his speech to laud MPs and parliamentary staff who had taken part in the alleged capture of ESKOM and other publicly-owned companies.
In particular‚ he mentioned Advocate Nthuthuzelo Vanara‚ the evidence leader of the Eskom inquiry‚ whose life was threatened and who was offered a bribe to quash the inquiry.
"Members serving on these committees‚ as well as Advocate Vanara‚ must be commended for the sterling work and dedication under challenging conditions.
"Threats‚ intimidation and allegations of financial enticement could not sway their commitment in their execution of their responsibilities."
Frolick said Parliament needed to take tough action against "blank refusal of certain persons of interest" to come to the institution to account when called to do so.
He cited the Steinhoff scandal in which its former CEO‚ Mark Jooste‚ failed to appear before the finance committee and the refusal by the Guptas and their associates to appear before the Eskom inquiry.
But DA chief whip John Steenhuisen begged to differ‚ saying Parliament and other law enforcement agencies were only taking action against state capture simply because former president Jacob Zuma was no longer in power.
"We saw it with the HAWKS‚ who‚ when the foul winds of state capture blew‚ failed to act when they should have against the Guptas and who‚ now as the political winds have shifted‚ have suddenly sprung to life‚ too little‚ too late‚ sadly.
"We saw it with the NPA who blew this way and that‚ protecting those in political office and their connected elite from prosecution‚ now that the winds have shifted‚ have started to act‚ too little‚ too late‚ sadly.
"And we saw it with this Parliament‚ which protected and defended the worst excesses of the last eight years of the Zuma administration. Some latter-day claimants of sainthood now decry the thievery‚ the corruption‚ the looting and the rot‚ yet they were the very same ones who sat around the Cabinet table nodding‚ back-slapping‚ drawing salaries and perks while they knew exactly what was going on‚ and they are the very same ones still sitting here today.
"What we needed in these days and challenges was institutions that stood solid‚ rooted in values and principles‚ secure in their mandate and acting without fear or favour‚ solid‚ resolute standing firm for democracy‚ the rule of law and the Constitution. We needed road signs‚ not weathervanes."