Mabuza on state imprisonment: ‘We are all going to explain ourselves one day’ | TBEN

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  • Vice President David Mabuza did not say whether he agrees with President Cyril Ramaphosa that the Zondo commission’s recommendations are not binding on the government.
  • Mabuza answered questions in the National Assembly on Thursday.
  • He said the government is committed to “processing” the Zondo commission’s report and being held accountable by parliament.

Vice President David Mabuza dodged a question as to whether he agreed with President Cyril Ramaphosa that the Zondo commission’s findings were not binding on the government.

Mabuza, who answered questions in the National Assembly on Thursday afternoon, said that as the government affairs leader, he had previously “confirmed the central role of this institution” in holding the executive branch accountable.

He said cabinet members were individually and collectively accountable to the National Assembly, and that it was their constitutional duty to assist the House in processing the Zondo commission’s report.

He said that as deputy president he did not have the power to punish the members of the executive branch involved in the report, but Ramaphosa did.

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READ | Ramaphosa contradicts Zondo commission’s finding that executive deployment is ‘unlawful, unconstitutional’

“The National Assembly can be assured of the full commitment of the executive branch led by the president in processing the findings of the State Capture Commission,” Mabuza said.

One of the Zondo commission’s damning findings against the ANC was that its policy of employing executives contributed to state takeover and was unconstitutional and illegal.

Weeks before the final report was published, the DA approached the Supreme Court asking that the policy be declared unconstitutional and illegal.

In his responding affidavit, in his capacity as the country’s president rather than the ANC, Ramaphosa argued that the recommendations were not binding but were intended to “help”. [him]as the country’s president, with the issues at the heart of this investigation”.

Vice President David Mabuza.

Included GCIS

However, he indicated that he would take the order seriously.

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When asking her follow-up question to Mabuza, DA chief Siviwe Gwarube said there now seemed to be uncertainty about the status of the commission’s report and its findings.

The president claims that none of this committee’s findings is in fact binding on the government, a sentiment that seems to have spread to parliament judging by the presidents’ unwillingness to act swiftly against those involved in the report are involved,” she said.

She said this was worrying because the commission’s work took years and cost more than R1 billion.

“Do you agree with the president that the committee’s findings are not binding and can simply be ignored?” asked Gwarube.

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Mabuza replied that Ramaphosa would come to the House and present a report on “how he will deal with the committee’s recommendations”.

“It is in that space and time that the president will declare himself, saying, ‘I do not think I am obliged to respond to this recommendation,’ and give reasons,” Mabuza said.

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“Of course there are certain recommendations that are about the National Assembly, you yourself. You also have to explain yourself how you want to deal with this, these recommendations,” he said with a smile.

“We will all one day explain ourselves. And that time will come. It is not just up to the president to explain himself, we also have to explain how best to deal with this recommendation.”

In response to a question from ANC MP Mina Lesoma, Mabuza said the money spent on the Zondo commission was “money well spent”.

He said efforts were being made to recover the stolen money, and every cent recovered should be celebrated. It’s not the money that matters, he said, but the principle that you can’t steal from the state — which is very important to settle in a democracy.