Commissions of inquiry aren't a waste of time - Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured hundreds of professionals in Johannesburg last night that setting up a number of commissions of inquiries to look into various corrupt activities will not be a futile exercise.
The president said if there was enough evidence that people have committed malfeasance emanating from the commissions, they will be prosecuted no matter how prominent they are.
“State capture debacle has been an overarching one and has not only gripped the nation, but a whole number of institutions in our country.
“Those that have done things wrongly, must be prosecuted and they must be accountable for what they have done. If there must be jail time, they must be jail time,” said Ramaphosa to a round of applause.
Last month, the president issued a proclamation which establishes an investigative directorate within the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions.
In February, Ramaphosa told the National Assembly that he planned to establish the unit in order to deal with a number of cases emanating from state capture investigations.
Ramaphosa, accompanied by Gauteng premier David Makhura and MEC for finance Barbara Creecy, said there’s already evidence of wrongdoing before some commissions.
“The evidence is coming out and the findings will be made once the report comes out... but there are things coming out that are actionable. Where wrong has been done, action must be taken,” said Ramaphosa.
Former Bosasa officials Angelo Agrizzi and Andries van Tonder, and former correctional services officials Linda Mti and Patrick Gillingham were arrested and appeared in court for the first time in February.
They face numerous criminal charges, including the violation of the Public Finance Management Act, following damning testimony relating to corruption in the correctional services sector.
It’s alleged that at least R1.6bn was misappropriated.
“What we are seeking to do with these commissions, we need to find out what the truth is. These commissions are of great help because they enable us as a nation to see what really has gone wrong in our country in various institutions. They also give us an opportunity to correct everything that went wrong,” said Ramaphosa.
The president said the country was not a dictatorship and therefore would allow the rule of law to determine who was guilty within the parameters of the constitution that the country is governed by.
The commissions including the Nugent commission of inquiry which investigated the South African Revenue Services, the Zondo commission inquiry which is looking into state capture, the Mpati commission which is also looking into impropriety at the Public Investment Corporation and the Mokgoro commission looking into the fitness of two of the National Prosecuting Authority’s officials Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi.