The long-delayed inquiry into State Capture in the Department of Mineral Resources is being sabotaged by the ANC. Months after being instructed by House Chairperson Cedric Frolick to conduct an inquiry into the behaviour of previous Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, Parliament supplied an evidence leader and the process appeared, at last, to be on track.
However, at today’s meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources, the evidence leader Ms Fatima Ebrahim reported that her plans to travel to interview witnesses had to be cancelled at the last minute when Parliament refused to supply a budget.
This action amounts to nothing less than an attempt to shut down an inquiry which is sure to be embarrassing to the ANC and those deployed to senior positions in the Department.
Some ANC Members on the Portfolio Committee have suggested that the inquiry be shut down due to lack of budget.
The committee has resolved to write to Mr Frolick to ask for clarity and further instructions. To us it seems the decision has already been taken. That decision is unacceptable.
The Ramaphosa administration has sought to portray itself as a new broom that will sweep away the abuses of the Zuma years. But by trying to sweep abuses under the carpet, it is clear that the reputation of the ANC is being put above the need to hold people accountable for criminal and ethically unacceptable acts that have ruined the reputation of South Africa’s mining industry and rendered it all but uninvestable.
One of the consequences of this, is the loss of fifty thousand mining jobs over the past year. The reputation of South Africa as a worthwhile investment destination will only be restored if the abuses of the past are dealt with. The quashing of this inquiry means state capture will go unexplored and unaddressed by Parliament, which will have failed again in its oversight function.
Jobs will once again be on the line and Parliament will be shown again to have failed in its duty.