Intelligence Committee kicks Phala Phala case out, proving need for ad hoc committee

Issued by Siviwe Gwarube MP – Chief Whip of the Official Opposition
13 Sep 2022 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Siviwe Gwarube MP.

The Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI) has thrown out the request from the Speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, to investigate issues pertaining to the alleged robbery on the President’s Phala Phala farm.

The committee was requested to interrogate the involvement of Deputy Minister of State Security, Zizi Kodwa’s in this apparent cover up and abuse of state resources and the possible abuse of a secret Crime Intelligence Fund used to finance the undercover operations.

The committee’s assertion that they did not have enough evidence before them to continue with the investigation proves exactly why the establishment of an ad hoc committee into this matter was crucial and should be urgently established.

On 26 June 2022, the DA Leader, John Steenhuisen, wrote to the Speaker to request that she establishes an ad hoc committee that would investigate – not only President Ramaphosa’s involvement, but also other state institutions that are implicated in this matter – in terms of National Assembly Rule 253.

Speaker Mapisa-Nqakula denied this on the basis that the JSCI would be investigating crucial parts of the request.

Additionally, she sought to conflate issues by stating that the Section 89 inquiry will be sufficient to investigate this. The truth is that the section 89 Inquiry will only deal with the involvement of the President and the possibility of instituting impeachment proceedings against him. It would not be able to cover the involvement of other state institutions.

This is why an ad hoc committee is required. We need to ensure that this scandal is covered on all levels and all state institutions are investigated. An ad hoc committee into this matter would be able to obtain the evidence that any other parliamentary bodies need to act on this case. Additionally, it would be done in an open and transparent fashion as opposed to any work done by the JSCI.

That is the role of Parliament. We need to take our oversight responsibility seriously and not simply find reasons why this institution cannot do its work.

What is clear is that the Speaker is hellbent on repeating the ‘mistakes’ of her predecessors by rendering Parliament useless in the face of critical national issues like this one. No lessons have been learnt from what happened under State Capture and what was allowed to happen during the Jacob Zuma tenure in office.

We will not stand by and allow this important institution to be captured by ANC factional battles. The people of South Africa deserve better.