It’s a cliché that the engine room of any parliament is located in its committee work. But that is what it should be. However, in the SA parliament the committee system has effectively been captured by the ruling party, the ANC, and there appears to be little chance that any “state capture” commission will arise to expose and end the resulting travesty.

The millions spent by taxpayers on a system of accountability meant to protect them against the abuse of power is not entirely wasted, as some semblance of answerability does creep into parliament on occasion. But much of what goes on in parliamentary committees is simply an extension and elaboration of ANC policy-making, while providing “democratic” cover for its sins and shortcomings...

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