State capture inquiry: Terms of reference to be released on Thursday
The terms of reference for the inquiry into state capture are expected to be made available on Thursday‚ justice minister Michael Masutha said on Wednesday.
Speaking via telephone‚ Masutha confirmed that his technical team are working towards making them public within 24 hours‚ as they are currently being translated into another official language as per the legal requirement.
"We have a team that is working on the technical support‚ which does the same job and has the responsibility with regards to all other commissions. That team will deal with the full range of aspects of this. Yesterday I received a signed proclamation from the president and the next step that I need to do is to publish the terms of reference‚" Masutha said.
"We didn’t draft the terms of reference. The president‚ and of course advised by whoever constitutes his legal team in assisting him in that regard‚ would be responsible for that. Of course the [department of justice] has a responsibility to settle all legal instruments such as bills that go to parliament‚" said Masutha.
"I can’t assign the draft proclamation that promulgates the terms of reference regulation and of course any other instrument that requires the president to sign that relates to the administration of justice‚" he said.
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela recommended that Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng‚ rather than President Jacob Zuma‚ appoint the chair of the state capture inquiry. Mogoeng appointed Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to lead the commission.
Zondo told reporters on Tuesday that the allegations to be probed by the commission are of a "very‚ very serious nature in our country."
He said the allegations are so serious that they go to the very foundations of South Africa's constitutional democracy. Zondo referred to some of the allegations to be investigated.
"Some of the allegations are that certain people or individuals offered ministerial posts to certain people and it is people who would have no constitutional power to make any such offers. In my view that is very‚ very serious."
The justice department said the terms of reference will be followed by the release of regulations that give the commission the legal competence to conduct the investigation‚ adding that this includes the power of the chairperson to subpoena witnesses and of search and seizure.