General: PIC inquiry unlikely at this stage?

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General: PIC inquiry unlikely at this stage?

The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance has issued a media statement urging all MPs – ‘irrespective of their political affiliations’ – to work together in tackling corruption ‘effectively and decisively’, notes Pam Saxby for Legalbrief Policy Watch.  It appears to have been prompted by concerns about Public Investment Corporation ‘issues’ the DA’s David Maynier believes should be the subject of a parliamentary commission of inquiry (News24), as Legalbrief Today has already reported. Noting the procedures needing to be followed by any parliamentary committee seeking permission to proceed with an inquiry, the statement tendd to suggest that nothing of the sort is planned at this stage. In the committee’s view, ‘allegations in the media relating to individuals or businesses connected to the … (corporation)’, including those involving Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize, ‘are the domain of the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation, the National Prosecuting Authority and the courts’.

The statement also refers to: a series of meetings with Public Investment Corporation representatives during the past nine months apparently arranged to address members’ concerns; and the board’s impending investigation into ‘all … allegations in the public domain’ on which the committee expects to have received feedback by the end of September. In addition, the statement notes draft legislation already being processed by the committee – expressly seeking to improve accountability and transparency at the corporation, as Legalbrief Today has also reported. A Public Investment Corporation Amendment Bill tabled by Maynier in January appears to have informed the drafting of a committee Bill with the same title, which only became available following public hearings on both proposed new statutes at the end of last month.

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