CAPE TOWN - Parliament rejected a proposal by the official opposition to start a process to look into how to deal with the Zondo commission findings on the institution’s oversight function.
On Thursday, DA deputy chief whip Siviwe Gwarube said National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula had in March outlined the timeline detailing how they would deal with the Zondo commission report once President Cyril Ramaphosa submitted it to Parliament.
Mapisa-Nqakula previously said that Ramaphosa would table the final report before the end of June and thereafter plan an action for the implementation of the recommendations not later than October.
Speaking at the National Assembly Programme Committee, Gwarube said the latest report of the commission has specific sections which deal with specific functions of Parliament, which would not be in Ramaphosa’s report that is expected to deal with the functions of the executive.
She said once the final report was released in June, there was no reason Parliament could not start or set its system to look at its role in terms of state capture.
“That is something not to wait for the president… My plea (is) can we look at starting a mapping process on how we will deal with Parliament’s role in dealing with the Zondo commission particularly as it relates to Parliament’s oversight,” Gwarube said.
National Assembly secretary Masibulele Xaso said after Ramaphosa tabled the latest report last week, the institution’s legal services was in the process to advise Mapisa-Nqakula on how the matter should be taken forward.
“That part of the report deals with certain MPs, former and current MPs,” Xaso said.
He, however, added that the understanding has been that Parliament would wait for the final Zondo commission report and submit it to the rules committee for guidance.
ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina said the commission was not instituted by Parliament and that Ramaphosa would bring a report to the national legislature.
Majodina said they should wait for the report to be tabled.
“The report is not going to vanish. That report, we are going to deal with it, as Parliament,” she added.
IFP chief whip Narend Singh said the advice as Xaso suggested was something to be considered.
Singh said Gwarube was suggesting that they should be alive to the dynamics of the situation.
“We don’t need to find ourselves at the end of the year having not done anything… There will certainly be a lot of pressure on us to deal with that report as it pertains to MPs,” he said.
DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone said what they were seeing was a nation suffering from fatigue.
“If we don’t deal with the Zondo commission report as soon as possible, it is going to be the case of a country looking at us saying typical Parliament,” Mazzone said.
But, Mapisa-Nqakula would hear none of the “undertones” in her “political speech” saying they have proposed a process on how to tackle the Zondo commission report once tabled by Ramaphosa.
“I take serious exception when you suggest ‘if Parliament does not’.
“Of course, Parliament has committed that once the president presents after four months, he will submit a plan of action and Parliament will deal with recommendations, among other things, with areas that directly affect their work of oversight in the different portfolios,” she said.
Mapisa-Nqakula said if parties felt strongly about discussing preparations for the receipt of the report from Ramaphosa and how it should be processed, they should discuss it at the chief whips forum.