State cap­ture probes go on, de­spite Zuma

CityPress - - News - AN­DISIWE MAK­I­NANA an­disiwe.mak­i­nana@city­press.co.za

The Hawks’ in­ves­ti­ga­tion into state cap­ture is con­tin­u­ing, de­spite Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s de­ci­sion to launch a court chal­lenge of the re­me­dial ac­tion rec­om­mended by former pub­lic pro­tec­tor Thuli Madon­sela in her re­port on the sub­ject.

This week, City Press es­tab­lished that Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor Bu­sisiwe Mkhwe­bane for­warded the State of Cap­ture re­port to the pri­or­ity crimes unit, as well as to the Na­tional Prose­cut­ing Author­ity (NPA), for in­ves­ti­ga­tion – on the same day in which the re­port was made pub­lic.

In a let­ter to DA leader Mmusi Maimane, which City Press has seen, Mkhwe­bane wrote: “The nature of the re­me­dial ac­tion is that the two au­thor­i­ties are to con­sider the re­port and in­ves­ti­gate any crime that may ap­pear to have been com­mit­ted.”

Mkhwe­bane’s of­fice did not re­spond to sev­eral at­tempts by City Press for com­ment.

The Hawks are not in­ves­ti­gat­ing the case on the ba­sis of the State of Cap­ture re­port, but rather, are prob­ing sev­eral cases opened by politi­cians on the mat­ter.

Hawks spokesper­son Brigadier Hang­wani Mu­laudzi said that while the Hawks re­ceived the re­port, they were not nec­es­sar­ily in­ves­ti­gat­ing its con­tents.

In­stead, he said, the Hawks were in­ves­ti­gat­ing a num­ber of cases that re­lated to the same al­le­ga­tions of state cap­ture – cases which had been opened by the Congress of the Peo­ple, the Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers (EFF), former ANC MP Vytjie Men­tor and DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

“That docket has now been re­ferred to us for in­ves­ti­ga­tion ... that docket and oth­ers. Dif­fer­ent teams are in­ves­ti­gat­ing,” said Mu­laudzi.

Maimane is sched­uled to meet with the Hawks about the mat­ter to­day.

Mu­laudzi said the Hawks were work­ing with the NPA be­cause of the com­plex­ity of the cases.

“We want a ded­i­cated pros­e­cu­tor to work with the team to give guid­ance in terms of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” he said.

Maimane said he was happy to hear that Mkhwe­bane had re­ferred mat­ters re­lat­ing to the State of Cap­ture re­port to the NPA and the Hawks.

“It is im­por­tant that in­sti­tu­tions of state, man­dated and equipped to in­ves­ti­gate and pros­e­cute, are look­ing into this crit­i­cal mat­ter,” he said.

“While some of these in­sti­tu­tions are com­pro­mised, I be­lieve there are good peo­ple who are guided by the rule of law and the Con­sti­tu­tion, rather than the po­lit­i­cal agenda of those at the top.”

Maimane added that he did not ex­pect the mat­ter to be re­solved overnight as the wheels of jus­tice moved slowly.

“But rest as­sured, we will be mon­i­tor­ing this process very closely to en­sure that work is be­ing done and dock­ets are not sit­ting col­lect­ing dust.”

Mean­while, his party and the EFF have an­nounced their in­ten­tions to op­pose Zuma’s re­view ap­pli­ca­tion of the State of Cap­ture re­port. In a state­ment is­sued on Fri­day, the pres­i­dency said the ba­sis for the re­view would be set out in his court ap­pli­ca­tion.

Maimane said while Zuma was op­er­at­ing within the pa­ram­e­ters of the law by tak­ing the re­port on ju­di­cial re­view, South Africans should re­mem­ber his long his­tory of us­ing the courts to de­lay be­ing held ac­count­able. “What is clear is that the pres­i­dent wants to use the courts to buy him­self time while he plots his next move in or­der to again avoid ac­count­abil­ity. We will not al­low him to get out of this cri­sis of his own mak­ing.”

The EFF shared this sen­ti­ment.

“Know­ing Zuma, he in­tends to only make the ap­pli­ca­tion in six months. We take this as a dec­la­ra­tion al­ready to un­der­mine the time frames of the [former] pub­lic pro­tec­tor’s State of Cap­ture re­port.”

The EFF added that, in terms of the re­port, Zuma was obliged to con­sti­tute a com­mis­sion of in­quiry within 30 days of its pub­li­ca­tion.

“The re­port says: ‘The pres­i­dent is to ap­point, within 30 days, a com­mis­sion of in­quiry headed by a judge, solely se­lected by the chief jus­tice, who shall pro­vide one name to the pres­i­dent.’

“This re­me­dial ac­tion is due on De­cem­ber 2,” said the EFF.

The party said it would write to Zuma to­mor­row, seek­ing his as­sur­ance that he would im­ple­ment the re­me­dial ac­tion as pre­scribed. If he failed to do so, the party said it would make an ur­gent court ap­pli­ca­tion against him.

Ja­cob Zuma

Bu­sisiwe Mkhwe­bane

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