State capture inquiry must probe all issues flagged in PP report: Mkhwebane

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane says the inquiry into state capture must use the report compiled by her predecessor‚ Thuli Madonsela‚ as a starting point for investigations.

“As indicated on page 354‚ paragraph 8.6 of the report and confirmed by the Court (paragraph 4.1 of the judgment) in the State of Capture report review judgment‚ Deputy Chief Justice Zondo must investigate all the issues using the record of the investigation and the State of Capture report as a starting point. My view is that the report and judgment do not limit the issues to be investigated‚ but provide the starting point for the commission.

“It is my further view that all the issues‚ as identified for investigation‚ reserved for investigation on the next phase and any other related issues to those identified and reserved‚ as reported in the media‚ (so-called “Gupta leaks”) need to form part of the Commission’s Terms of Reference‚” Mkhwebane said in in an official statement.

On January 9‚ President Jacob Zuma announced the appointment of a commission of inquiry into state capture.

Zuma said he made this decision after the investigation and remedial action of the Public Protector and the order by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on December 14 last year.

The court ordered Zuma to appoint a commission within 30 days that must be selected by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

He selected Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to lead the commission and said extra resources would be made available to the commission of inquiry.

In her statement on Thursday‚ Mkhwebane said her earlier statement on January 10 did not say that there was a need for historical investigation dating back to 1994.

“Broadening the scope is related to the issues identified for investigation in the State of Capture report. Though some of the contracts investigated in the state of capture report date back 30 years or more‚ for example in Eskom‚ therefore during the investigation it would be critical to determine what happened‚ what should have happened and what prescripts should have been complied with‚” she said.

Mkhwebane then lamented the resources available to her office.

“Government has failed to properly resource this institution. In the current financial year‚ despite the fact that I have requested and motivated for a budget of at least R800-million‚ the National Treasury has cut this institution’s budget by R8-million. As a result of the above and considering the nature of the issues to be traversed and available resources‚ I will not be able to promptly investigate all the allegations of state capture‚ as reported after the publication of the state capture report.”

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