Zondo dismisses EFF objection to Nombembe in state capture probe

12 April 2018 - 17:42
By Penwell Dlamini
Image: Mduduzi Ndzingi Raymond Zondo

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo‚ who is heading the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture‚ has rejected objections by the Economic Freedom Fighters to the appointment of former auditor-general Terence Nombembe.

Zondo announced the appointment of Nombembe as the commission’s head of investigations on March 7.

Nombembe is the CEO of the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica).

On March 9‚ the EFF raised an objection to Nombembe’s appointment‚ alleging that as Saica CEO Nombembe received a donation of R1.27-million from Trillian Capital‚ a company implicated in state capture.

The money was for the Thuthuka Bursary Fund (TBF)‚ which Saica formed to help previously disadvantage groups enter the accounting profession.

But Zondo said that according to information provided to him by Nombembe‚ he learnt about the allegations against Trillian from the Business Day newspaper in April 2017. Trillian Capital had paid an unsolicited donation of R1.27-million to TBF on February 28 last year.

After learning about the allegations and having received the donation‚ Nombembe and his co-directors rejected it and instructed TBF management to return the donation to Trillian Capital. The donation was sent back.

“Given the above facts‚ I can see no basis upon which Mr Nombembe can be criticised in regard to the donation. On the contrary‚ he should be commended for having been part of the decision of the TBF board of directors [which said] that the donation be rejected and returned to Trillian Capital.”

Zondo said it would seem that‚ at the time of lodging the complaint‚ the EFF might not have been aware that the donation had been rejected and returned to Trillian Capital and that Nombembe was among those who made that decision.

“Therefore there is no proper basis for the objection and it falls to be dismissed‚” said Zondo.