Commission on state capture should conclude Public Protector’s initial report: Madonsela
The purpose of the commission of inquiry to investigate allegations of state capture is to conclude the investigation that was undertaken by the Public Protector in her “State of Capture” report.
This is the view of former public protector Thuli Madonsela as calls are being made for the commission to investigate other allegations of state capture not mentioned in her report.
President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday announced the appointment of the commission of inquiry‚ as recommended by the Public Protector in November 2015.
In the State of Capture report‚ Madonsela identified 12 issues she was asked to investigate by complainants‚ including DA leader Mmusi Maimane. These included the question of whether Zuma improperly allowed members of the Gupta family and his son Duduzane to be involved in the process of the removal and appointment of various Cabinet ministers.
Current Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane issued a statement on Wednesday calling on President Jacob Zuma to ensure that the terms of reference of the commission are not limited to the issues investigated or identified in the state of capture report.
“The Public Protector also calls upon the President to ensure that the Deputy Chief Justice has power to expand the issues to be investigated‚ should any relevant evidence of state capture be brought to him during the inquiry‚” Mkhwebane said.
In a telephone interview‚ Madonsela said it would be improper of her to comment on Mkhwebane’s views.
Madonsela said her understanding of the remedial action – as the person who wrote the report - was reflected in the State of Capture report.
Madonsela said the purpose of the commission was to conclude the investigation initially undertaken by the Public Protector in the State of Capture report.
“The terms of reference would state the purpose of the commission‚ which is to conclude the investigation that was undertaken‚” Madonsela said.
She said the powers of the commission were the same as those of the Public Protector.
“Should the commission come across other issues that were not investigated in the initial report‚ the commission has the power to refer these matters for further investigation‚” Madonsela said.
Madonsela said the six-month period for the commission to finalise its work was crafted with an understanding that the commission was a single-purpose vehicle: to conclude the investigation that was not concluded.
In her State of Capture report‚ the Public Protector said she did not have the resources necessary to execute the investigation‚ hence the need for a commission of inquiry on the terms quoted in the report.