South Africa 24.5.2018 04:39 pm

State capture inquiry to get under way in August

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo during a media briefing in which members of the Commission of Enquiry into Allegations of State Capture were introduced to the media at the offices of the Chief Justice in Midrand on 7 March 2018. Picture: Neil McCartney

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo during a media briefing in which members of the Commission of Enquiry into Allegations of State Capture were introduced to the media at the offices of the Chief Justice in Midrand on 7 March 2018. Picture: Neil McCartney

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo says it’s all systems go for the hearings to start as crucial confidentiality agreements have been signed.

The commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture will line up its first witnesses in August, head of the inquiry, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said today.

“The legal team has already been in touch with witnesses and their lawyers. They have been contacted and in due course, members of the legal team will interview them. We appreciate the public’s interests in the inquiry, as we are asked wherever we go as to when the inquiry will begin its work,”  Zondo told reporters in Johannesburg.

“We are planning to have the first hearing in August, there might be an adjournment after the first witnesses are done.”

The commission’s logo was presented at the briefing held in Parktown. Zondo said the premises, Hill on Empire will be the venue for the inquiry. An adjacent building will house the commission’s staffers.

Zondo said the commission has been doing work behind the scenes despite a delay for investigations to get underway. The delay was as a result of talks with government departments and entities that took longer than anticipated. The investigators were supposed to have been out in the field from mid-March.

“Because of the sensitivity on the side of the investigators who will remain anonymous, we needed a level of confidentiality…so we needed to discuss all that with the government departments to come to an agreement. We did reach an agreement and are ready to move forward,” Zondo said.

He said the commission has received records from entities that has held inquiries relating to state capture. These included documents and records from parliament after several state capture related investigations by various committees, and from public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s office.

Records from public protector is still being studied by the legal team, added Zondo.

The highly anticipated inquiry is to probe the abuse of political influence and state funds by a network of the Gupta family and politicians, who allegedly fleeced the State of billions of rands through irregular dealings with South Africa’s state-owned companies.

African News Agency (ANA)

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