Senior ANC MP implicated in Zondo's report elected co-chair of committee to oversee KZN disaster spending

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Cedrick Frolick.
Cedrick Frolick.
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  • Cedric Frolick and Jomo Nyambi were elected co-chairpersons of the Ad Hoc Committee on Flood Disaster Relief and Recovery.
  • The Zondo Commission recently recommended that Frolick be investigated for corruption related to Bosasa.
  • Frolick chaired the Fifth Parliament's discredited ad hoc committees on Nkandla.

A senior ANC MP, who the Zondo Commission recommends should be investigated for corruption, has been appointed as the co-chairperson of the ad hoc committee to ensure that disaster funding for KwaZulu-Natal isn't looted.

Seventeen days after both houses of parliament agreed to establish the ad hoc committee on flood disaster relief and recovery, it finally convened on Friday to elect its co-chairpersons – one from the National Assembly (NA) and one from the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

The NA's house chairperson for committees, Cedric Frolick, and his counterpart from the NCOP, Jomo Nyambi, were elected. Both are ANC MPs.

The third part of the Zondo Commission's report recommends that Frolick be subjected to further investigation for possible corruption.

The commission found that Frolick "sought to assist Bosasa [to] resolve its impasse" with former ANC MP Vincent Smith, who chaired the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services at the time.

The commission found this improved Bosasa's "relations with a parliamentary oversight body that was concerning itself with allegations of irregularities in the award of contracts to Bosasa".

Smith and former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi are already facing criminal charges related to corruption around Bosasa.

READ | Bosasa directors Leshabane, Gumede must be prosecuted for 'corrupt' ANC' war room' deal

This is not the first ad hoc committee Frolick will chair – he chaired the Fifth Parliament's sham ad hoc committees on Nkandla. The committees endorsed the view that former president Jacob Zuma's swimming pool was actually a fire pool and cleared Zuma of any wrongdoing related to the "security upgrades" to his homestead.

The second ad hoc committee's report on Nkandla was also the basis of a NA resolution that was declared "inconsistent with the Constitution and unlawful" in a scathing Constitutional Court ruling in March 2016.

Now Frolick will co-chair an ad hoc committee that has been established "following the destruction caused by the recent floods that took place in KwaZulu-Natal, North West and the Eastern Cape to, among others, assess the overall impact of the damage, monitor response and relief measures by government, and oversee the response and implementation of government relief measures", as Parliament put it in a statement on Friday.

READ | Durban councillor swears resident asking for help after floods

According to Parliament's statement, the multi-party committee's members agreed that the "dire situation" in flood-affected areas had made the committee's work "more urgent".

They also said the committee's resolutions should not be decided by a vote, as that would promote partisanship to the detriment of those affected by floods.

"Members of the committee raised concerns about communities becoming impatient with living in halls and slow intervention. The committee agreed that its work needed to be broader and encompass climate change strategies in order to adequately advise government on possible future disasters," reads the statement.

Nyambi said the committee's establishment would help streamline the work of Parliament related to the floods, and it would cut duplication as so many committees had sought to visit the affected areas to monitor similar challenges.

He said the committee would ensure that all relevant stakeholders assessed the overall impact of the damage in all the provinces and that the committee's work would consider the challenges that ordinary people faced.

READ | Ad hoc committee on KZN floods must lose ANC's hear no evil, see no evil outlook

"The committee was established for the performance of a basic task and we hope to complete it during the timeframe of the committee's lifespan. This will be possible when all stakeholders work together with the committee," Nyambi said, according to the statement.

Frolick said the committee would schedule its meetings, and its draft programme would be ready on Monday.

"The committee should be led by what we find on the ground, what was promised to the people, and what is delivered," he said, according to the statement.

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