MPs want urgent meeting with Mbete over funds for SOEs state capture inquiry

Lawmakers have agreed to approach the Speaker for support because they are concerned budgetary constraints could hinder the probe.

FILE: Speaker Baleka Mbete. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Frustrated Members of Parliament (MPs) want an urgent meeting with National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete to ask for funds and resources for their inquiry into Eskom, Transnet and Denel.

The Public Enterprises Portfolio Committee, preparing to investigate allegations of state capture at state-owned enterprises, is asking for a seasoned lawyer to lead evidence in its inquiry.

Lawmakers have agreed to approach the Speaker for support because they are concerned budgetary constraints could hinder the probe.

Inkatha Freedom Party MP Narend Singh says the committee needs assurances that it will be well-resourced.

“I just have a funny feeling that there may be some powers that be who have realised that this committee is going to do serious work and we are all committed, across political parties, to get to the bottom of this and they are trying to put a spanner in the works.”

DA MP Natasha Mazzone says Parliament has an obligation to ensure the committee has the support it needs to fulfil its mandate.

“Parliament has an obligation to resource its committees to do their work.”

Parliamentarians had hoped to recruit the legislature’s advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara, who led evidence during an inquiry into the SABC.

Alternatively, they want an outside expert.

Twenty-seven people are on the committee’s witness list.