Hawks’ presence causes stir at state capture inquiry
Parliament’s inquiry into state capture adjourned abruptly Wednesday when the inquiry’s chairwoman Zukiswa Rantho said she felt distracted by the presence of members of the Hawks in the meeting room and that they wanted all her details.
However‚ it turned out later that the presence of the Hawks was innocent and had caused a false alarm as their unannounced attendance was meant to assist the committee.
But the incident did highlight the stress and sense of intimidation that members of Parliament’s public enterprises committee‚ which is conducting the inquiry‚ are working under.
"I am not sure if I am able to continue with this‚" Rantho said‚ noting that the Hawks had everyone’s details so there was no reason for them to want hers.
She could not understand why it was necessary for the Hawks to come to a parliamentary committee to obtain her details. Rantho’s family has already been intimidated because of the inquiry.
African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) MP Steve Swart said the intimidation was "outrageous" and unacceptable. After the adjournment‚ public enterprise committee chairwoman Lungi Mnganga-Gcabashe took over the presiding of the inquiry. She told MPs that the member of the Hawks who came into the meeting had meant no harm. It was unfortunate that the committee had not been informed before his arrival that he would be attending the meeting.
The presence of the Hawks was only conveyed to Rantho during the meeting‚ causing her concern that this was another instance of intimidation.
However‚ the explanation was that the Hawks member was late as he was assisting the standing committee on public accounts and later attended the inquiry to assist the committee with certain issues.