Wit­ness state­ment leaks to be probed – Zondo

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - News - Nom­ahlubi Jor­daan

Deputy chief jus­tice Ray­mond Zondo‚ the chair of the in­quiry into state cap­ture‚ says an in­ves­ti­ga­tion will be con­ducted to es­tab­lish who was re­spon­si­ble for leak­ing the state­ments of wit­nesses who are yet to tes­tify be­fore the com­mis­sion.

“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 be­fore the wit­nesses give ev­i­dence be­fore the com­mis­sion and with­out the writ­ten per­mis­sion of the chair‚” Zondo said in a state­ment on Thurs­day night.

It comes af­ter the me­dia re­ported on pub­lic en­ter­prises min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han’s leaked state­ment‚ in which he in­formed Zondo about the pub­lic pro­tec­tor’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion‚ say­ing this was part of the “mis­use and abuse of pub­lic pow­ers for sus­pi­cious ob­jec­tives”.

Busi­ness Day re­ported this week that Gord­han had been sub­poe­naed to ap­pear be­fore pub­lic pro­tec­tor Bu­sisiwe Mkhwe­bane next week.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­lates to the early-re­tire­ment pack­age of­fered to for­mer SA Rev­enue Ser­vice (Sars) deputy com­mis­sioner Ivan Pil­lay in 2010.

In his state­ment‚ Gord­han said the com­plaint against him had been lodged on No­vem­ber 18 2016 by Le­bo­gang Hoveka‚ then a speech writer in for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s of­fice.

Zondo said: “An in­ves­ti­ga­tion is to be con­ducted to try to es­tab­lish the peo­ple re­spon­si­ble for the leaks.”

Cit­ing reg­u­la­tions gov­ern­ing the com­mis­sion‚ Zondo said it was a crim­i­nal of­fence for any­one‚ in­clud­ing the me­dia‚ to dis­sem­i­nate or pub­lish‚ with­out the writ­ten per­mis­sion of the chair.

“I urge the me­dia and ev­ery­one to ob­serve Reg­u­la­tion 11(3) and de­sist from dis­sem­i­nat­ing or pub­lish­ing wit­nesses’ state­ments or por­tions thereof be­fore the wit­nesses have given ev­i­dence at a hear­ing of the com­mis­sion un­less the chair’s writ­ten per­mis­sion has been ob­tained‚” Zondo said.

It was a crim­i­nal of­fence for any­one to dis­sem­i­nate or pub­lish‚ with­out the writ­ten per­mis­sion of the chair

Pho­to­graph: PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP

STERN WARN­ING: State cap­ture in­quiry chair deputy chief jus­tice Ray­mond Zondo

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