The capturing of Portfolio Committees could come under the spotlight once Parliament is investigated for alleged failure to execute its oversight role to prevent the looting of taxpayers’ money.
State Capture Commission Chair, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, hinted about what he calls the ‘elements of State capture within Portfolio Committees of parliament during the inquiry on Monday.
He wants to know why the National Legislature failed to assist various whistle-blowers, especially senior officials from the Reserve Bank who had highlighted urgent cases that needed prosecuting for money laundering.
This followed the testimony of the Reserve Bank’s head of financial surveillance, Shiwa Mazibuko.
Portfolio Committees are the engines of Parliament when it comes to conducting oversight over State institutions and the executive.
Responding to Shiwa’s revelations at the inquiry on Monday, Zondo indicated that the investigation into Parliament should be extended to the Portfolio Committees.
“One would need to look at whether or not there is a capacity problem within Portfolio Committees, or whether there were elements of State capture within Portfolio Committees themselves,” says Zondo.
Zondo said some witnesses who already testified in the inquiry raised similar concerns about being told to take it easy when they bring information to some of the committees.
Some political parties have already indicated that they would welcome any probe into the 5th Parliament for having failed in its oversight duty to curb State capture and corruption.