DA leader John Steenhuisen said on Sunday that he wanted National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to establish an ad hoc committee to probe President Cyril Ramaphosa’s farm saga.
Steenhuisen made the call following media reports which alleged the use of a secret crime intelligence fund and also implicating State Security Deputy Minister Zizi Kodwa in the matter.
“I have today written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, requesting that she urgently establish an ad-hoc committee to investigate the matter.
“This is in addition to the nine action steps the DA announced last week to get to the bottom of what really happened at Phala Phala,” he said in a statement.
Steenhuisen said since Parliament was currently in recess, the duty to establish such an ad-hoc committee rested entirely with Mapisa-Nqakula.
“And given Parliament’s scandalous history of failing to hold former president (Jacob) Zuma to account in the Nkandla scandal, and the firm rebuke it received from then Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng for this dereliction of duty, it is critical that the Speaker demonstrates Parliament’s commitment to its constitutional duty and the oath of office that each of its members swore.”
He also said the allegations that a secret crime intelligence fund was used to pay for the clandestine, off-the-record operation to track and recover the stolen money and apprehend the suspects as well as the deployment of elite task force members to Ramaphosa’s farm had broadened the scope of the scandal considerably.
“The alleged involvement of Deputy State Security Minister Zizi Kodwa in secret discussions with Namibian authorities means that this scandal now involves, among others, the VIP Protection Services, SAPS, the Justice Department, Crime Intelligence and State Security.
“This is now well beyond the scope of any single portfolio committee, and as such it calls for the establishment of an ad-hoc committee,” Steenhuisen said.
He also said it was now clear that Parliament would not get satisfactory answers directly from Ramaphosa, whom he claimed had not provided answers to written questions nor answered any of the questions put to him in the parliamentary debate.
“If he won’t break his silence, then Parliament must. It dare not fail the people of South Africa on Phala Phala as it did with Nkandla,” Steenhuisen said.