Zondo to in­ves­ti­gate source of wit­ness leaks

The Independent on Saturday - - NATION -

DEPUTY Chief Jus­tice Ray­mond Zondo, who is chair­ing the com­mis­sion of in­quiry into state cap­ture, said that an in­ves­ti­ga­tion was be­ing con­ducted into the leak­ing of wit­ness state­ments be­fore those wit­nesses had given ev­i­dence at the in­quiry.

“Since the com­mence­ment of the pub­lic hear­ings of the com­mis­sion in Au­gust 2018, var­i­ous sec­tions of the me­dia have dis­sem­i­nated and pub­lished con­tents of wit­nesses’ state­ments sub­mit­ted to the com­mis­sion in con­nec­tion with the in­quiry of the com­mis­sion be­fore the wit­nesses give ev­i­dence be­fore the com­mis­sion and with­out the writ­ten per­mis­sion of the chair­per­son,” Jus­tice Zondo said.

“The lat­est in­ci­dent re­lates to the state­ment sub­mit­ted to the com­mis­sion by Min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han, Min­is­ter of Pub­lic En­ter­prises. The same thing hap­pened with the state­ment sub­mit­ted to the com­mis­sion by for­mer Min­is­ter of Pub­lic En­ter­prises Ms Bar­bara Ho­gan. Both Min­is­ter Gord­han and Ms Ho­gan are yet to give their ev­i­dence be­fore the com­mis­sion.”

On Thurs­day, Gord­han’s 68-page state­ment was leaked to the me­dia and re­ported on.

While the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the leak was be­ing con­ducted, Jus­tice Zondo said that me­dia houses should pay at­ten­tion to the reg­u­la­tions gov­ern­ing the com­mis­sion, which state that no per­son, with­out the writ­ten per­mis­sion of the chair­man, may “dis­sem­i­nate any doc­u­ment sub­mit­ted to the com­mis­sion by any per­son in con­nec­tion with the in­quiry or pub­lish the con­tents or any por­tion of the con­tents of such doc­u­ment”.

It was also a crime to pe­ruse any doc­u­ment – in­clud­ing state­ments – that were des­tined to be sub­mit­ted to the chair­per­son “or in­ter­cept such doc­u­ment” while it was on its way to the chair­per­son.

Any per­son who con­tra­vened the reg­u­la­tions was guilty of an of­fence and could face a fine or im­pris­on­ment not ex­ceed­ing 12 months.

“Th­ese reg­u­la­tions make it clear that it is a crim­i­nal of­fence for any­one

– to dis­sem­i­nate or pub­lish, with­out the writ­ten per­mis­sion of the chair­per­son, any doc­u­ment (which in­cludes wit­nesses’ state­ments) sub­mit­ted to the com­mis­sion by any per­son in con­nec­tion with the com­mis­sion’s in­quiry, Jus­tice Zondo said.

“Af­ter a wit­ness has given ev­i­dence in pub­lic be­fore the com­mis­sion and his or her state­ment has been handed up at the pub­lic hear­ing, the me­dia may pub­lish his or her state­ment or por­tions thereof un­less the chair­per­son or­ders other­wise,” Jus­tice Zondo said.

“I there­fore trust that, in sup­port of the work of the com­mis­sion, all me­dia houses, jour­nal­ists, com­men­ta­tors, an­a­lysts and the pub­lic at large will not act in breach of the reg­u­la­tions and will show re­spect for the pro­cesses of the com­mis­sion,” he said. |

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.