- The much vaunted and highly anticipated Commission of Inquiry into State Capture will start on Monday
- Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo will head the inquiry which aims to find and bring to justice the key players behind the state capture scandal
- The inquiry will start with a bang on Monday with key witnesses such as Mcebisi Jonas, Vytjie Mentor, Themba Maseko, Ndleleni Mathebula and Phumla Williams set to deliver testimony
The long wait is finally over, the much vaunted and highly anticipated Commission of Inquiry into State Capture is set to start on Monday. The inquiry which will be headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and a crack team of investigators which includes Paul Pretorius and Terence Nombembe.
The inquiry is set to start with a bang on its first day with five key witnesses set to deliver testimony to the commission. These witnesses are Mcebisi Jonas, Vytjie Mentor, Themba Maseko, Ndleleni Mathebula and Phumla Williams.
The inquiry aims to find and bring to justice the key players behind the state capture scandal which exposed serious looting and corruption by government officials.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the inquiry has been tasked with investigating, inquiring and make recommendations in relation to any and all allegations of state capture allegations and will likely take more than two years to complete.
Former president Jacob Zuma originally ordered the inquiry to complete and report on its findings within a period of 3-months but thesouthafrican.com reported that a recent court order has extended the time allowed to the commission by a further two years.
Briefly.co.za takes a look at the five witnesses who will deliver testimony on day one of the inquiry.
1. Mcebisi Jonas
Jonas is the former deputy finance minister and he has been applauded for refusing a bribe of more than half a billion (yes billion with a B!) from the Gupta family. The bribe would have seen Jonas promoted to the position of finance minister after Nhlanhla Nene was controversially fired in December 2015.
Jonas revealed that he was introduced to the Gupta family by Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane, who is himself thought to be one of the key players and benefactors of state capture.
2. Vytjie Mentor
Mentor has built a reputation for making outlandish claims and speaking her mind. She claims the Gupta family paid for her to visit their home in Johannesburg where she was offered the position of Minister of Public Enterprises.
3. Themba Maseko
Maseko is the former director of communications at the Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) and was the only member of the African National Congress (ANC) to make a submission against the Guptas’ when the original process was opened in 2016.
Maseko claims that Zuma arranged a meeting between himself, Zuma and the Gupta brothers to discuss political matters and policy direction. According to Maseko he objected to the Guptas’ being involved in political policy matters and was told he would pay for his objection. Maseko was sacked from his positions shortly after the meeting.
4. Phumla Williams
Williams was at one-time being mentored by Maseko and also served as the state’s deputy director-general of communications. He is thought to be in possession of a trove of information relating to interference in state affairs by the Guptas’.
5. Ndleleni Mathebula
Mathebula has served in various positions within the national treasury over the past 15 years and is believed to have witnessed many of the irregular financial transactions between government officials and the Gupta family.
It remains unclear whether or not Zuma will delivery testimony or provide any assistance to the inquiry. His son Duduzane alluded to being willing to provide testimony in his own defence at the commission.
The commission has the Constitutional power to compel any individual to appear before it and can additionaly demand that any documents it deems relevant to be submitted into evidence. The commission can also enact search and seizure warrants on any property which it deems relevant to its investigation.
Once the commission concludes its investigations it is expected to provide law enforcement agencies with recommendations for possible prosecutions.
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