Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has shot down suggestions that Parliament has failed to act on the Zondo Commission report against members of the national legislature who are implicated in state capture.
She said all matters have been referred to the relevant committees and Parliament has done its job on that.
However, Parliament cannot take criminal action against any of its members because that was the function of law enforcement agencies.
She said she has seen the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Police and the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) calling on the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as the Hawks) and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to appear before Parliament to report on cases they were investigating.
That is where the role of Parliament ends in so far as pursuing cases related to their members.
Mapisa-Nqakula, who was addressing the legislative sector summit in Cape Town on Wednesday, said it was incorrect to suggest that Parliament has not acted on the Zondo Commission report.
“Even with the Zondo Commission report, we need to talk about it because a perception has been created that Parliament is not moving on the findings. It’s not true. It’s far from it because a lot of what has been done has been referred to the different committees,” said Mapisa-Nqakula.
She said cases against members of Parliament were referred to the Ethics Committee.
“However, Parliament is not a law enforcement agency. Parliament has a responsibility of oversight,” said Mapisa-Nqakula.
Parliament cannot go beyond the mandate that is stipulated in the Constitution.
Committees of Parliament have been able from all times called in law enforcement agencies to give progress reports on cases they were investigating.
It is in these committees that members of the national legislature ask questions about cases.
“I have seen the portfolio committee on police and Scopa invite the Hawks, the SIU and law enforcement agencies and people give statistics about the number of cases they are investigating,” said Mapisa-Nqakula.
“How many have appeared in court and how many have been convicted. That’s the only thing parliament can do. Parliament cannot go beyond that in exercising its oversight.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa handed over the Zondo commission report in parliament in 2022.
This was part of the programme to ensure that those who are implicated in state capture were investigated.
Mapisa-Nqakula said Parliament has referred cases to the relevant committees of the national legislature for processing.