Zondo lashes out against parliament over statehood


Chief Justice Raymond Zondo railed against Parliament’s apparent red tape in implementing the commission’s post-statehood recommendations. This includes prosecuting any of those involved.

Zondo said at a seminar on the period after statehood on Thursday that a year after the last damning findings in the four-year investigation into corruption in the public service under ex-pres. Jacob Zuma to Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa has been handed over, no progress has been made.

“A year is a reasonable period of time to reflect (on the findings),” said Zondo.

“But I haven’t seen anything that has changed.”

Zondo suggested that a permanent commission, similar to the state capture commission, be set up to hold parliament accountable for the implementation of the findings.

Parliament now says it is “surprised” by Zondo’s remarks as they “have no merit” and undermine “the principles of the separation of powers”.

“It is inappropriate for the chief justice, as a representative of the state, to publicly attack the parliament,” the parliament said in a statement.

“We believe that using the established channels to address any concerns he may have about Parliament’s implementation of the commission’s recommendations would have been more appropriate.

“It is not the place of a chief justice to make such comments in public, unless and until he is required to judge a case impartially.”

The parliament says it is of “cardinal importance to provide the parliament with the necessary space to fulfill its obligations”, but that in any case “actual steps (have been taken) to deal with the recommendations of the commission after statehood” “.

To improve accountability, parliament is currently developing rules and guidelines to improve its oversight processes. Cooperation between parliament and the executive is also encouraged to facilitate its attendance without the need for additional legislation or rules.

Furthermore, to strengthen oversight of the presidency, the parliament examines best international practices.

“Several other initiatives are either being investigated or implemented to hold those involved accountable and it has been decided to present quarterly reports on the progress of this,” said parliament.

“If the chief justice had contacted parliament about his concerns, he would have been informed of all the ongoing work.”

However, the South African Council of Churches (SARC) said it was nevertheless “terrible that so little was achieved in response to such an important report which cost the nation almost a billion rand”.

The Council for the Promotion of the South African Constitution (Casac) also says that a year later far too little has been done.