State capture probes go on, despite Zuma
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.