State capture probe to resume this week
THE PROBE into the capture of state-owned enterprises, including Eskom, resumes in Parliament on Wednesday, with Eskom’s lawyers set to provide details on the work they have done.
The meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises comes as Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu reiterated her call that ministers implicated in state capture must be probed. She said they must clear their names, but if they are found guilty, “the harshest action” must be taken against them.
The acting chairperson of the committee, Zukiswa Rantho, said yesterday no witnesses would be called to give evidence on Wednesday. Ministers and lawyers, however, would deliberate on some of the work that has been done.
In the past, the committee agreed that President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane and the Guptas be called to testify, as they are implicated in state capture. Other people to be called include former Eskom chairperson Ben Ngubane, former chief executive Brian Molefe, former acting CEO Matshela Koko, and other ex-board members and executives of the power utility.
Rantho said they had not lined up witnesses this week because they were finalising some aspects.
“We will look at what our legal team has prepared for us. We have agreed as a committee that the work before us is huge and we need researchers and more legal people,” Rantho said.
She added that they continued to get an enormous amount of information and were sifting through it.
When the committee met a few weeks ago, the South African Council of Churches, the State Capacity Research Project and the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse presented evidence to MPs.
They described South Africa as a mafia state and said a shadow state was calling the shots at the Guptas’ compound in Saxonwold, Joburg.
The Guptas have been criticised over their alleged involvement in state capture, and a trove of email leaks have implicated high-ranking officials in government and state-owned entities.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa also called for those implicated in state capture to be investigated.
Zuma has said he did not have a problem setting up a commission of inquiry into state capture.
In her report late last year, former public protector Thuli Madonsela called for Zuma to appoint Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng to nominate a judge to head the commission of inquiry.
But Zuma has contested this recommendation, saying it was the prerogative of the president to appoint the commission.