Zondo report: Now the ‘criminal investigations’ begin, says NPA | News24

The final handover of the State Capture Inquiry report.

  • The National Prosecuting Authority says it will study the State Capture Inquiry report and coordinate cases emanating from the recently released report.
  • Chief Justice Raymond Zondo handed over the final State Capture Inquiry report to President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday.
  • The NPA says cases reported in the inquiry report may require criminal investigations. 

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says the State Capture Inquiry did not conduct criminal investigations and this would need to happen following the release of its report.

NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhanga told News24 on Thursday that its Investigating Directorate (ID), working with the task force, would study the recently released report and coordinate cases emanating from it. 

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

Mhanga continued: 

The ID is capacitated to deal with all the cases emanating from the state capture report and advocate Rodney De Kock as the head of national prosecution services is leading the task force.

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

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Spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said that in the same correspondence, the office requested that Ramaphosa submit to Parliament a plan on how the commissions’ recommendations will be implemented. 

He said: 

For the purposes of monitoring the execution of all the recommendations contained in the report of the Commission and in compliance with paragraph 9.2 of Report No. 06 of 2016/17 (the State of Capture report), periodic implementation reports from both Parliament and the Presidency have been requested for submission to the PPSA.

Meanwhile, political analyst Dr Trust Matsilele told News24 that he expected the commission’s report to be taken on review. 

Matsilele said implicated politicians would have to “exhaust all remedies available to them including taking the report on review”. 

“In a country where increasingly the legal is conflating with the political, it is not far-fetched that some of the findings would be more political in character than legal in nature. Taking the report on review is one way to ensure that all arms of the state are held accountable and that we don’t allow politics to determine our legal infrastructure. “

He added that he expected the NPA to “prioritise high profile cases as they lack capacity and resources to go after everyone. This is understandable in a state that has been exposed to deep corruption for a longer period with virtually no consequence for malfeasance”.

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

Another analyst, University of Free State’s Professor Sethulego Matebesi, told News24 that he believed that law enforcement agencies would take a while to investigate some matters.  

Matebesi said: 

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

He also added there might be some delaying tactics, even coming from the president, in the implementation of recommendations of the State Capture Inquiry report. 

“What is currently happening with the president, [the Phala Phala theft incident] tells me how he will now deal with the state capture report.”

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

“Yes, there will be a public pronouncement from the president that action should be taken against those who have been implicated but that will be the end of the story. We will not see a statement [from the president] with guns blazing saying this cannot be tolerated. I don’t foresee a situation like that, and I think that will have to do with a lot that has happened in the past few weeks [Phala Phala theft].”  

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Matebesi also believed that not everyone who had been implicated would take the report on review. 

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

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