Zondo report: ‘Criminal investigations’ start now, says NPA

The final submission of the state capture investigation report.

  • The National Prosecuting Authority said it will review the state capture investigation report and coordinate cases arising from the recently released report.
  • Chief Justice Raymond Zondo delivered the final report of the state capture inquiry to President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday.
  • The NPA says cases flagged in the investigation report may require criminal investigations.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says the state capture inquiry did not conduct a criminal investigation and that is expected to happen after its report is released.

NPA spokesman Mthunzi Mhanga told News24 on Thursday that his Investigations Directorate (ID), together with the task force, would study the newly released report and coordinate cases arising from it.

“It should be noted that these cases may require criminal investigation for prosecution as the commission did not conduct criminal investigations,” Mhanga said.

Mhanga continued:

The ID is empowered to handle all cases arising from the State Capture Report and attorney Rodney De Kock, as Head of National Prosecution Services, leads the task force.

Meanwhile, the Public Protector’s office said it sent a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa, requesting copies of the commission’s report in full.

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Spokesman Oupa Segalwe said in the same correspondence, the office asked Ramaphosa to submit a plan to parliament on how the commissions’ recommendations will be implemented.

He said:

For the purposes of monitoring the implementation of all recommendations contained in the Commission’s report and in accordance with paragraph 9.2 of Report No. 06 of 2016/17 (the Catch Status Report), periodic status reports of the Parliament and the Presidency have been requested for submission to the PPSA.

Meanwhile, political analyst Dr Trust Matsilele told News24 he expected the commission’s report to be scrutinized.

Matsilele said the politicians involved should “exhaust all avenues available to them, including reviewing the report.”

“In a country where the legal is increasingly intertwined with the political, it is no exaggeration that some of the findings are more political than legal in nature. Revising the report is a way of ensuring that all branches of the state is held accountable and that we do not allow politics to determine our legal infrastructure.”

He added that he expected the NPA “to prioritize high-profile cases because they lack the capacity and resources to prosecute everyone. This is understandable in a state that has been exposed to deep corruption. for a longer period of time with virtually no consequences for wrongdoing”.

Matsilele also said that Ramaphosa is “cleaning up the rot that he has to risk losing some of his closest allies and the possibility of losing a second term. Politicians tend to protect their power more than moral values, if Ramaphosa opts for values ​​it would be a good day for this country”.

Another analyst, Professor Sethulego Matebesi of Free State University, told News24 he thought law enforcement would take some time to investigate some issues.

Matebesi said:

Our law enforcement agencies are not known to be proactive. We have seen how many cases drag on. Even if they start investigating, I still think there are cases that won’t be finalized now, it could take much, much longer.

He also added that there could be delaying tactics, even from the president, in implementing the recommendations of the state capture inquiry report.

“What is happening now with the president, [the Phala Phala theft incident] tells me how it will now handle the state capture report. »

Matebesi said he expected a “lax attitude” from Ramaphosa and the ruling party.

“Yes, there will be a public statement from the President that action must be taken against those who have been involved, but that will be the end of the story. We will not see a statement. [from the president] with guns saying this cannot be tolerated. I don’t foresee such a situation, and I think it will have to do with a lot of things that have happened over the past few weeks. [Phala Phala theft].”

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Matebesi also believed that not everyone involved would take the report under review.

“If a finding has been made, every South African has the right to do so, but it will be the leaders who have the financial support who will review the report. The others will make a lot of noise in public spaces, but they do not take this in review,” he said.

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Mark M. Gagnon