20/10/2017 15:43 SAST | Updated 20/10/2017 15:43 SAST

State Capture Inquiry Postponed After ANC Appoints New Chair

The governing party has replaced the chairperson of the parliamentary inquiry into state capture.

Brian Molefe and President Jacob Zuma in 2016, when Molefe still ran Eskom.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Brian Molefe and President Jacob Zuma in 2016, when Molefe still ran Eskom.

As day three of the parliamentary investigation into state capture at Eskom drew to a close on Friday, news broke that the chairwoman of the public enterprises portfolio committee, which is conducting the inquiry, is to be replaced.

In a statement issued by the office of the ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu it was announced that ANC MP Lungi Mnganga-Gcabashe would take over as chair of the committee from next week.

Mnganga-Gcabashe, who is a member of the ruling party's national executive committee, was one of five changes to portfolio committee heads announced.

The current acting chairwoman, ANC MP Zukiswa Rantho, appeared unaware of the change.

"I am not aware... I am told by [a member of the media] that the announcement was made by the office of the chief whip," she said, when approached about the matter.

Asked if she thought having an NEC member as chairwoman was proper, she responded: "I think it is proper that they have taken an NEC member to be the chairwoman of this committee

"She will lead us according to the policies she is hands on with, unlike me. She is part of the policy making of the ANC."

Asked whether she didn't consider this might be a disadvantage, she said she did not think so.

"Actually, it's an advantage to us as a committee."

Minutes earlier, at the end of proceedings, Rantho had announced that the inquiry would not continue next week, but would take a break to examine and discuss evidence it had already received.

Only hours earlier, just before the start of today's proceedings, a committee clerk had assured Huff Post that the inquiry would continue on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday next week.

Earlier this week, Rantho suggested that the volume and nature of the evidence heard on the first two days of the inquiry suggested the need for a more intensive, in-depth inquiry.

"I think the committee will recommend for a special commission that will focus especially on Eskom," she said.