State cap­ture probe to re­sume this week

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

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.

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