“multi-disciplined“ team for the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture

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Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, State Capture

The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has announced his “multi-disciplined“ team of experts to investigate the allegations of the State Capture.

Former President Jacob Zuma appointed the Deputy Chief Justice to lead the Commission of Inquiry to probe allegations of State capture in South Africa.

State Capture Commission of Inquiry is tasked with investigating alleged corruption and fraud in the public sector, including organs of State.

Deputy Chief Justice Zondo appointed the team of six experts which includes experienced investigators, lawyers and advocates.

The appointments include Dr Khotso De Wee, who is the current executive director of Fort Hare Solutions. He was the acting secretary general in the office of the Chief Justice. He has been appointed as the secretary of the State capture commission.

Former Auditor General Terence Nombembe has been appointed as the head of investigations. Nombembe is the CEO of the South African Institute of Charted Accountants.

While Zondo didn’t mention the investigators that Nombembe will lead for security reasons, he, however, assured that the team will be “multi-disciplined“ in order to cope with the type of investigation that is required by the commission.

“The team of investigators will have different skills… We are very conscious of the need for security. We are taking all reasonable steps to ensure that the issue of security is given priority,” Zondo said.

Other key appointments include Paul Joseph Pretorius, a member of the Singapore International Mediation of Advocates and panel member of the SA Law Commission Working Group on Mediation. Pretorius has been appointed as the head of the legal team. He will be supported by Isaac Vincent Maleka, who is a senior counsel and the Deputy Chairperson of the Disciplinary Committee of Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors.

Other legal team members are Leah Gcabashe, who is the vice chairperson of the Johannesburg Society and Thandi Victoria Norman, who is currently the chairperson of The Advocates for Transformation in KwaZulu-Natal.

Justice Zondo expressed his confidence in the new team, saying the appointments paves the way for the commission to start its work.

“The inquiry hearings will begin in the next few months but other investigations will take some time,” said Zondo, who confirmed that some of the work of the commission started work on 1 March.

The investigators will go out in the field in next two weeks, Zondo said.

The regulations for the inquiry were published in the Government Gazette on 9 February 2018. The regulations enable the chairperson of the commission to collect evidence and subpoena witnesses to testify before the commission and to present any documentary evidence relevant to the inquiry.

The publication of the regulation follows the earlier publication of the terms of reference of the commission under Government Gazette No. 41403 of 24 January 2018.

The inquiry will investigate allegations of State capture, corruption and fraud in the public sector, including organs of State.

In the terms of the reference, the commission must investigate whether, to what extent and by whom, attempts were made, through any form of inducement or for any gain whatsoever to influence members of the National Executive, including Deputy Ministers, office bearers and directors of the boards of SOEs.