PARLIAMENT – Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Justice on Friday called Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to task after she called for the scope of the judicial inquiry into state capture to be extended.
The prospect has been widely dismissed as a delaying tactic to protect those implicated.
The chairman of the committee, ANC veteran Mathole Motshekga, urged Mkhwebane to respect the directives regarding the inquiry as set out by her predecessor Thuli Madonsela in 2015.
“That remedial action confines itself to what should form part of the inquiry. It is not for her to request an expansion of the terms of reference for the state capture inquiry. In fact, it is only the courts that have the power to amend or change the remedial action.”
Motshekga said the calls made by Mkhwebane were confusing to the general public and she must not “interfere” with the remedial action or scope of the inquiry.
“The integrity of the remedial action should not be questioned and as the courts have previously ruled, the remedial action of the Public Protector is binding.”
Motshekga said the committee would raise the matter with Mkhwebane directly.
The Public Protector has since said she did not mean apartheid-era corruption should be included in the inquiry, but rather the #GuptaLeaks emails that were released after Madonsela's report was made public.
Zuma appointed the judicial commission of inquiry, headed by deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, just before the ANC's first NEC meeting after its elective conference.
But he has yet to heed pressure to issue the terms of reference.
The political opposition and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa have called for these to be restricted to the scope set out by Madonsela, to allow the probe to be concluded timeously.
African News Agency