Getting to the bottom of state capture

Monday, August 20, 2018

The first public hearing in the much-awaited inquiry into allegations of state capture, corruption, fraud in government and state-owned entities will get underway in Parktown, Johannesburg, on Monday.

Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, Deputy Chief Justice Zondo, is expected to open proceedings at 10am.

This will be followed by an opening statement on behalf of the legal team by Advocate Paul Pretorius SC and a presentation of reports by Advocate Thandi Norman SC.

Four witnesses are to be called to appear before the Commission of Inquiry. They are: Treasury staffer Ndleleni Willie Mathebula, former Finance Deputy Minister Mcebisi Jonas, former ANC MP and parliamentary caucus chairperson Mabel Petronella Mentor, former Cabinet spokesperson and CEO of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Themba Maseko, and Deputy Director General of GCIS Phumla Williams.

“There are other witnesses whom the legal team is in the process of identifying and/or consulting with,” said the commission, ahead of Monday’s proceedings at its offices.

Last month the Deputy Chief Justice said the hearings would get underway over a three week period with witnesses expected to lead evidence.

At the time, Zondo did not rule out that hearings could extend to six weeks depending on issues which he did not reveal.

Zondo’s comments came as the Gauteng Division of the High Court in July granted an order for the Commission to extend the period to do its work.

“Although the extension of the 180 days within which the Commission must complete its work is subject to the confirmation by the Court on 2 October 2018, the order of the High Court granting the extension is most welcome,” said the Commission at the time.

The period of 180 days was included in the remedial action of the “State of Capture” Report released by the former Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela in October 2016. -