Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has called on members of the governing party to hold their own ministers accountable and not wait for the opposition to do that.
He said holding ministers accountable was the job of every parliamentarian, irrespective of which party was in power.
He said parliamentarians derive their mandate from citizens and they must stand up for them in Parliament against ministers who are not performing.
Irrespective of who the governing party will be in the future, all Members of Parliament have a duty to hold ministers accountable.
Zondo was on Monday addressing the legislative sector summit in Cape Town when he raised the issue.
He said many people looked up to MPs to ensure they told ministers when they did not deliver.
People were tired of failure to deliver basic services.
This is where the role and responsibilities of parliamentarians come in.
Members of parliament and provincial legislatures must hold the executive accountable.
Without mentioning the ANC by name or any party, Zondo said he hoped future members of the governing party would stand up in Parliament and ask ministers tough questions.
If ministers were not performing, members of their own party must tell them in their faces, said Zondo.
“I long for the day when Members of Parliament and members of provincial legislatures will perform their oversight function over the Executive without fear, even from those who might be in the governing party, whichever the governing might be in the future.
“I wish for a day when members from the same party will say to ministers who do not perform, ‘this is not acceptable because this is not what the people expect. The fact that we are in the same party doesn’t mean we must condone mediocrity.’ Let the people who suffer every day see us from the same party stand up in Parliament and tell a minister who is not performing that this is unacceptable. Let us not be as if it is only the opposition parties who see that a minister is not performing. Let the people see that your standards as the governing party, whoever the governing party may be in the future, are high. You will hold your own ministers to high standards because, whoever is governing, you must send the message that you are not a party of low standards,” said Zondo.
He also said people were tired of corruption and he believes Parliament has a role to play in fighting it.
The people must see parliament as a body that is addressing their needs.
Zondo was investigating state capture and a few months ago he complained about a lack of action by Parliament to deal with members who were implicated in his report.
However, the Speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and the National Council of Provinces chairperson, Amos Masondo, met with Zondo over his remarks. The presiding officers said parliamentarians who have been implicated in the state capture report have been attended to.