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Parliament hits back at Zondo over state capture remarks

todayJune 23, 2023 56

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Parliament has labelled Chief Justice Raymmond Zondo’s criticism that the national legislature failed to protect citizens from state capture as unfortunate, lacking merit and undermining the principle of separation of powers.

Zondo made the disputed remarks at an event marking the first anniversary since the final state capture report was handed over to the President, hosted by the Human Sciences Research Council.

“If there was another group of people who were to do what the Guptas did to pursue state capture, Parliament would still not be able to stop it. That is simply because I have seen nothing that has changed. The question that arises is that if Parliament won’t be able to protect the interest of another attempt of state capture, who will protect the people?” Zondo remarked.

Parliamentary Spokesperson, Moloto Mothapo, says as the head of the judiciary, it is essential for the Chief Justice to foster an environment of mutual respect and cooperation.

“It is inappropriate for the Chief Justice, representing one of the arms of state, to engage in public attacks on Parliament,” says Mothapo.

Parliament is of the view that the Chief Justice could have used the necessary and correct channels to address his concerns.

“Had the Chief Justice reached out to Parliament with his concerns, he would have been comprehensively apprised of all the ongoing work.

“It is not the place of a Chief Justice to make such public remarks unless and until he is required to adjudicate on a matter with impartiality,” says Mothapo.

The Chief Justice also believes that there is a need for a permanent anti-state capture commission to avoid scandals like that of the Gupta family.

The Guptas are said to have siphoned more than R58 billion from the public purse.

Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza

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