Ramaphosa establishes Scorpions-like directorate to deal with corruption

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: Supplied by GCIS.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: Supplied by GCIS.

It has been hailed as an effort to intensify government’s fight against graft.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the establishment of an Investigating Directorate in the Office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions to address allegations emerging from current and recent commissions of inquiry, and corruption-related crimes in general.

The new directorate has drawn comparisons to the erstwhile Scorpions and he first announced his intentions to get it going during his last state of the nation address.

According to a statement issued by the presidency, this was done in an effort to “intensify government’s campaign against corruption and state capture”.

“President Ramaphosa has proclaimed the establishment of the Investigating Directorate in terms of Section 7(1) of the National Prosecuting Authority Act, 1998 (Act No.32 of 1998). This has been done on the recommendation of the minister of justice and correctional services, the minister of police and the national director of public prosecutions. The new directorate will investigate common law offences including fraud, forgery, uttering, theft, and any offence involving dishonesty,” read part of the statement.

The statement goes on to outline the statutory offences that the directorate will attend to, including but not limited to contraventions of:

· The Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2000;

· The Prevention of Organised Crime Act 121 of 1988;

· The Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Act 33 of 2004;

· The Public Finance Management Act 1 of 1999;

· The Municipal Management Act 56 of 2003;

· The Financial Intelligence Centre Act 38 of 2001; and

· Any other statutory offence involving dishonesty.

In addition, the directorate will investigate any unlawful activities relating to serious, high profile, or complex corruption including but not limited to offences or criminal or unlawful activities arising from the following commissions and inquiries:

· The Zondo commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture, corruption and fraud in the public sector including organs of state promulgated under presidential proclamation No. 3 of 2018 in Government Gazette No. 41403, January 25 2018;

· The Nugent commission of inquiry into tax administration and governance by the South African Revenue Service (Sars) established by presidential proclamation No 17 of 2018 published in Government Gazette No. 41562 constituted on May 24 2018;

· The Mpati commission of inquiry into allegations for impropriety regarding the Public Investment Corporation established by presidential proclamation No. 30 of 2018, as published in Government Gazette No. 41979 of October 17 2018; and

· Any other serious, high profile, or complex corruption case referred to the new directorate by the national director, in accordance with Section 28(1)(b) of the NPA Act.

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