The parliamentary inquiry into state capture took a dramatic turn on Wednesday morning when its chairwoman, ANC MP Zukiswa Rantho, said there were members of the Hawks present in the Old Assembly Chamber, the venue for today's session.
Shortly after the start of the inquiry, which was set to hear further testimony from Eskom acting board chairman Zethembe Khoza, Rantho said she had received two letters from lawyers acting for Ajay Gupta.
She proceeded to read out the letters, and listened to the reaction from MPs, before suddenly declaring she had lost her focus.
"I have already lost my focus now because I am told that there are Hawks inside here who want all my details.
"So I'm really disturbed. I'm not sure if I'll be able to continue with this because if there are Hawks here, the Hawks know everybody's address and details, and they need my details, and I don't know which types of Hawks are those Hawks that come to a parliamentary committee and ask for that.
"I just want to bring to your attention that I am already disturbed as a chairperson of this inquiry," she declared
ACDP Steve Swart called on Rantho to tell the committee what was happening.
"We want to know... what intimidation is being brought against you, what are the Hawks doing here, what information do they want from you, is it an investigation? Your family has already been threatened, and we find this outrageous," he said.
The committee has taken a break to discuss the matter.
After the 30-minute break, committee chair Lungi Mnganga-Gcabashe, who took over from Rantho, said the Hawks who entered the chamber had "meant no harm or disrespect".
They had been there to offer their help to the committee. She offered apologies for what had occurred.
"So we just want to apologise about the manner the matter was conveyed to the chair of the inquiry during the meeting. It should have been done before the meeting started.
"We want to apologise on behalf of the Hawks that they were unable to come earlier... They have apologised, and we have accepted the apology and we want to put the matter behind us," she said.Suggest a correction