Briefly.co.za takes a look at the four commissions of inquiry set up by President Cyril Ramaphosa to look into allegations of corruption and state capture
The President, Cyril Ramaphosa ,has had a busy 9 months in office. He has set up a total of four commissions of inquiry all aimed at combating the abuse and capture of the state’s resources in the country.
The aim is to investigate the failure of good governance and corruption at key state institutions including SARS ( South African Revenue Service) and the NPA ( National Prosecuting Authority under the rule of Jacob Zuma.
They take into consideration years worth of media exposes on the infamous Gupta family’s reach and influence in political circles. The family, naturally, has denied all allegations.
Here is an overview of the commissions that President Ramaphosa has thus far put into place:
The State Capture inquiry
This judicial commission of inquiry is headed by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo who was appointed on the 8th of February.
The inquiry is the end result of the ‘State Capture’ report by the heralded former public protector Thuli Madonsela. The 2016 report gave instructions to investigate “allegations of state capture, corruption and fraud in the public sector including organs of state”
Nhlanhla Nene, the former finance minister has recently resigned after it emerged during his testimony that he had lied about the true extent of his connections to the Gupta family.
Cheryl Carolus, the former SAA chairperson, recently testified that the former public enterprises minister Malusi Gigaba had lied to Parliament about the state of the national carriers financial statements. Gigaba was asked by the President to resign.
Carolus had testified that SAA had been in good financial health, enjoying clean audits and a solid business plan but that she had resigned after pressure from Gigaba had become unbearable.
This year SAA had delayed in submitting their financial statements and had received a qualified audit and this saw the debt to the government alone ballooning to almost R46 Billion.
Carolus testified that Gigabe had insisted on dropping its profitable route to Mumbai in an alleged bid to please the Guptas.
The commision has a March 2020 deadline to complete its work according to a recent High Court ruling in Pretoria. The commission plans to conclude by August 2019.
The SARS commission
President Ramaphosa made good on his promise to stabilise and restore credibility at SARS during his state of the nation address in February and proceeded to put the SARS commission of inquiry into place.
A report by the commission, which is chaired by Justice Robert Nugent has already made headway when it called on the President to immediately fire SARS commissioner Tom Moyane. The commissioner had already been suspended and had been awaiting a disciplinary hearing.
The President did exactly that, promptly firing Moyane in November. Moyane’s request for the commission to be set aside and his dismissal to be overturned has been denied by the Constitutional Court.
Moyane had halted upgrades to the tax collector’s digital systems in 2014. The problems with the systems are estimated to cost SARS at least R1 Billion.
The PIC commission
The President announced in August that a commission of inquiry will be looking into the Public Investment Corporation. PIC is the continent’s largest asset manager.
Under the leadership of CEO Dan Matjila the PIC is accused of questionable investments.
Matjila has since resigned with immediate effect on the 23rd of November but has since decided to contest his resignation.
The commission is led by Justice Lex Mpati and has until February 2019 to submit an interim report and until April 2019 to submit its final report.
The commission has been instructed to investigate the governance structure of the entity as well as its operating model. It will also look into possible changes to the entities founding legislation.
The NPA commission
This is the latest of the President’s inquiries and will look into the fitness of the deputy national director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba as well as special director of public prosecutions Lawrence Mrwebi.
Both individuals have been suspended pending the outcome of the inquiry, which was announced in October.
This inquiry will be led by Justice Yvonne Mokgoro but the terms of the inquiry have yet to be announced.
Jiba stands accused of being the right-hand person at the NPA to Jacob Zuma. The entity is said to have been politically captured during the former president's tenure.
In the suspension letters, the President said that he took into account the “serious nature of allegations that you are unfit to be in so high an office” when he appointed the inquiry.
“It is the interest of the NPA’s image as a whole that I consider here, and of the integrity of an enquiry (sic) that must result in the clearest and most convincing conclusions about the integrity, and sound leadership of the NPA,” Ramaphosa said
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