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Speech by Hon Lusizo Makhubela-Mashele on 'the scourge of State Capture: Parliaments duty to investigate and hold the Executive to account' in the National Assembly.

28 November 2017

Hon Members

The hopes and aspirations of the more than 50 million citizens of the country rests upon us as Parliament because we are the Peoples Representatives. Our Primary Role As members of the National Assembly, and elected representatives of the people is to ensure the is proper accountability and governance of all Organs of State.

We do this work by, amongst,
Scrutinizing and Overseeing Executive Action.
Parliament is one of the three arms that make the State and is duty and obliged by law to act and investigate the allegations of State Capture and Corruption of any State Organ.

We the peoples representative Pledge our allegiance to the Republic of South Africa, by a promise to uphold the Constitution upon taking OATH of Office.
This oath should be the base and foundation of the work we carry out on behalf of the Citizens who elect us to Office and Positions responsibility.

The ANC takes the issue of State Capture seriously and will not shy away from all challenges confronting our young democracy and its institutions.

Over the past few months, the eyes of the nation have been fixed on Parliament, particularly the oversight work that many Committees of the National Assembly led by the ANC have been conducting.

The Ad Hoc Committee of The SABC Board is one case in point, on a Parliament working tirelessly to ensure accountability and good governance.
All forms of maladministration that was confronting the SABC was laid bare through the committee enquiry. The recommendations have not gathered dust, but are in the process of implementation.

Today those who had captured the SABC have been brought to book and some shown the door. This is a clear indication that Parliament is holding people accountable on their actions.

Hon Members and South Africans
Our Constitution provides clear guidelines that "the National Assembly MUST provide for mechanisms to ensure that all executive organs of state in the national sphere of government are accountable to it; and to maintain oversight of the executive authority, including the implementation of legislation.

In their Wisdom, the drafters of the Constitution, Used the word "must".
This word is significant because in law, it implies that the National Assembly has no room whatsoever to act otherwise.

The National Assembly also has wide-ranging powers to enforce accountability.
Section 56 of the Constitution empowers this House and its Committees to summon any person to appear before it and give evidence or require any person or institution to report to it.

Perhaps we must admit as members of this House that in hindsight, we have not exercised our powers to the fullest; hence when our Committees began to enhance oversight in recent years the reactions by some officials in state-owned enterprises have exposed their disdain towards the people and the people's Parliament.

As we mark the centenary of the birth of our icon, Oliver Reginald Tambo, We the members of the ANC deployed to Parliament must draw inspiration and strength from his wisdom.
Tambo implored all ANC cadres to;
"At no stage should we ever allow the strategic initiative to shift to the other side. Let us, therefore, root ourselves amongst the people, live their experiences, share their trials and tribulations and, jointly with them, find ways and means to advance our cause at both local and national levels. As in the past, our cadres should be the first to rally to the defence of the people and the last to seek rewards."

The opening words of the Freedom Charter and the preamble of our Constitution "We, the People of South Africa" have a profound meaning for each and every one of us here. Through our actions in this Parliament, We give effect to the principle that the People Shall Govern! We hold the keys to the legitimacy of our government.
Legitimacy can be earned by government only if we act in accordance with the will of the people.

ANY form of Corruption or State Capture, is a cancer that will destroy and our rob society particularly the most vulnerable. It undermines the objectives of our government to build a prosperous nation as envisioned in the National Development Plan.

Parliament cannot sit idle while the policy objectives of our legitimate government that was elected by millions of our people is being undermined,
and the capacity of the state to deliver on government's mandate, is destroyed in front of our eyes.

A recent study by Transparency International has revealed a link between inequality, and Corruption in society.
In countries where there are high levels of inequality, there is directly proportional high prevalence of corruption.
Clearly, if we want to win the fight against corporate capture and related corruption, we must redouble our efforts to radically reduce inequality.

Some academics have called our State a "contract state". Cynical people in the corporate sector have abused our policies aimed at achieving economic transformation by using government's procurements spend to favour black businesses. They have found ways to corrupt the system of awarding contracts and tenders by colluding with officials within government departments and state-owned enterprises.
Therefore as The peoples voice we dare not fail in our quest to deliver our constitutional duties.
The allegations that certain families or companies have become too influential in the decisions of the state should be investigated and brought to account though legal and legitimate actions.

The ANC is committed to radical economic transformation, which is to be achieved in part by using procurement by government and SOEs.
The corporate sector must be encouraged to increase its gross domestic fixed investment in order to accelerate inclusive growth and reduce inequality.
Development in an unequal society cannot work without the allocation of beneficial rents.
What matters most is whether our rent management system is corrupted by patronage networks or not.

As we have seen in other countries in Europe and Africa, once the system is corrupted, a process sets in that can lead to the hollowing out of the state, endemic conflict and economic collapse while an elite enriches itself. This cannot be allowed to manifest under our watch.

Parliament must be applauded for its proposed amendments before this House to;
- Empower the Auditor-General to refer undesirable audit outcomes to recover losses in certain instances against the person responsible for State Resource loses.
These will give authority to the AG to act against Fruitless and Wasteful expenditure.

Hon Members we must agree that this motion from the DA is premature and seeks to undermine the very work currently before the committees where allegations of State capture are being tested and investigated.

To this end, The Standing Committee on Public Accounts recently concluded engagements which sought to build confidence in the capacity of the State not to disrupt payment of the much needed grants to the most vulnerable of society through a State Entity, Post Bank. This is an indication this motion is nothing but grand standing of the highest level which seeks to clog the headlines of the media to core cheap political point at the experience of the most vulnerable of our society.

As leaders of society the ANC will continue to fight against shameful acts of Corruption, State Capture or any other criminal activity which will defocus our mandate to the People of South Africa.

     
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