By Neelam Rahim
It took four years, six volumes, five-thousand-437 pages and a billion rand, but the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture has finally been completed. The process started when former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela recommended that then-President Jacob Zuma set up the Commission. Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has handed over the names of those who should be investigated and considered for prosecution on charges that include fraud, theft, bribery, money laundering and flouting the Public Finance Management Act.
Zuma, former Cabinet ministers Malusi Gigaba, Nomvula Mokonyane, David Mahlobo and current Minister Gwede Mantashe have all been named in the Zondo report for investigation and possible prosecution.
Radio Islam discusses the way forward with the CEO of OUTA, Wayne Duvenage and Hennie van Vuuren, an anti-corruption activist at Open Secrets.
The two big questions are was it all worth it, and what is the way forward?
“It took a bit longer than we would then we thought but a billion rand in the context of what has been stolen from this country. And what has happened is nothing really when you think about it. But what is more important is that this is a formal judicial process. So the evidence that is being gathered, the interviews, the cross examinations, all of this stuff is such good information and very important for the rule of law going forward. It has paved the way it has fast tracked some of the process because couldn’t imagine, without this would have been, you know, so much hearsay in the past media statements, and that what we needed is to get the facts and from here, the NPA, who could have acted concurrently, while this was going on anyway, can utilize this information and move forward quite quickly, without having to go through lengthy and time consuming prosecution processes, which still have to happen in the formal sense of prosecutions and the investigations ever to take place. But so much of that work. That legwork has now been done. So this is the catalyst for the holding to account of many people who’ve given rise to this country’s demise,” says Wayne.
Concerns about the lack of capacity within the NPA, so we spent a billion rand, it’s taken four years, we’ve got a 5000-page report, how many of these people implicated will end up legally and criminally facing the music?
Hennie tells Radio Islam, “It’s a matter of time. But, you know, I think the biggest question we’ve got to start asking is how do we prevent the country from slipping into this situation again, and it came out very clearly in the final report was under where we have the State Security Agency who gathered a lot of information on what was going down but they were interfered with. So we need to ensure that the towers are put in place to prevent this manipulation and the conduct of having a person like the president in power, who is going to be able to influence what is going on. I think what we do need to do is make sure that positions of leadership in in our various organizations, specifically chapter nine organizations, as well as SMEs, that that we do not allow the political meddling and interference that has taken place. We need to have more civil society input and say in the boards of SOEs.”
There’s been talk that President Zuma, when he was compelled to set up this inquiry, he broadened the scope. And as a result of that, many more people have been implicated, and they are those who opine that the ANC as a party has significantly been delegitimized.
“I think there’s been delegitimize as a as a political party, by the actions of leadership. And I think it’s that collective leadership which has failed when we look at any number of issues where, for example, the role of Prosser the responsibility of a public rail agency to take workers to work every morning, it was talking with the chairperson, who not only spoke to governments but spoke to the ANC toxic leadership directly to say there’s a massive corruption problems yet again, to destroy a process that was simply ignored by Jacob Zuma by Cyril Ramaphosa adjusted the watch and the other members of the top six of the ANC leadership and, I think that undermined the integrity of the organization. And that’s why we see the troubles that has political party has even their branch level,” says Hennie.
For more about this, listen to Radio Islam’s podcast below.