With National Treasury staffer Willie Mathebula today set to be the first witness to address the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, much focus is expected to be on ethics and systems in one of government’s most important departments.
Mathebula, who is treasury’s chief procurement officer, has over 15 years’ experience working in the finance department.
Among the inquiry’s terms of reference is to investigate procurement practices, unlawful contracts and alleged illicit transactions in government and state entities. It is also probing whether any advisors in the department of finance were appointed without proper procedures.
Said inquiry chairperson Raymond Zondo: “In particular, and as alleged in the complaint to the public protector, whether two senior advisors who were appointed by then minister Des Van Rooyen to the National Treasury were so chosen without following proper procedures.
“The requirement here, on the understanding of the legal team, is not to investigate only or even all specified and individual acts of corruption, but rather their cumulative nature and extent.”
Among those present at the start of the inquiry were lobby group Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse’s (Outa) Rudie Heyneke, who expressed support for the terms of reference.
“The explanation by Judge Zondo of the terms of reference was done very well. We are ready to present Outa’s submission to the inquiry by September 20, which will be based on the report we made to parliament last year.
“Outa would like to encourage members of the public to come forward and be aware of processes taking place here,” said Heyneke.