Parliament is expected to feature prominently when the fifth and final part of the state capture report is released on Wednesday. The Zondo Commission was expected to release the final installment of the report last week but it was delayed several times.
Former Speakers, Baleka Mbete and Thandi Modise, as well as several other members of parliament, were among those who were called to give evidence before the commission.
In 2017, in one of the more significant rulings of the Constitutional Court in recent years, South Africa’s apex court found that parliament had failed to hold then-President Jacob Zuma to account. This was with regard to the use of public monies to build his compound at Nkandla. It is expected that parliament will once again find itself on the wrong side of the Zondo Commission.
“We can certainly expect that the report will cover the role of parliament in state capture. How and why parliament failed to react to evidence of state capture at the time. And in fact a significant part of the hearing focus on these failures. Parliament will certainly have to engage with that and particularly any findings CJ Zondo will make with regards to the functioning of parliament and in particular its oversight role,” says Lawson Naidoo, Executive Secretary of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) released a documentary on the governing African National Congress (ANC)’s Cadre Deployment Policy. Speaking at the launch, Party Leader John Steenhuisen says it is the policy that allowed state capture to thrive. He says parliament has a lot to answer for.
“I think it’s more important now that as the final report of Zondo commission lands that the citizens understand where cadre deployment came from and how it enabled state capture to happen and what needs to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I think we forget because the news cycle moves very quickly. It is important to have a documentary so that we know how we ended up in the situation that we’re in today,” says Steenhuisen.
Speaking during parliament’s budget vote debate recently, National Assembly Speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told members that measures are already in place to start acting on some of the commission’s recommendations on the role of parliament.