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Zondo: COVID-19 relief fund corruption is frightening

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo made the remarks after asking Parliament's former correctional services portfolio chair Vincent Smith whether Parliament really had the power to rein in ministers and departments.

FILE: Deputy Chief Justice Zondo during the first public hearing on state capture allegations in Johannesburg on 20 August 2018. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - State capture inquiry chair Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said the COVID-19 corruption was frightening and showed that those who did wrong knew nothing would happen to them.

Zondo made the remarks after asking Parliament's former correctional services portfolio chair Vincent Smith whether Parliament really had the power to rein in ministers and departments.

“It’s like you saying, nothing will happen. We can just continue as normal because nothing will happen and that may well be because they look around and ask, what has happened to whom?”

Former ANC MP Smith is at the commission to testify on the more than R500,000 he received from Bosasa and the alleged installation of security cameras at his house.

Smith said his relationship with Bosasa’s late CEO Gavin Watson predated his tenure in Parliament and he didn't know Watson’s relationship with Bosasa.

He said he first went to Parliament in 1999 and was chairperson of the correctional services portfolio committee from 2009.

“We would ask questions as a department. We would engage with them, we would also engage with stakeholders so that we as members of Parliament were clued up with the subject matter, whether it was correctional services or justice. But that, in essence, was our work, but also passing laws and passing the budget.”

WATCH: State capture commission proceedings on 4 September

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