State Capture: Zondo calls for witnesses to come forward

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has made an impassioned plea to Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Members of Parliament and senior government officials to come forward and testify in the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

“There must be a number of Ministers in the current and previous Cabinet who know some things that happened. There must be senior people in government, people in the National Assembly, in the NCOP, who know things that fall within the terms of reference relating to the commission.

“People must come out, contact the commission and assist us. We ask them to come forward,” said Zondo, who is also the chairperson of the commission.

The commission is investigating allegations of State Capture, corruption and fraud in the public sector, including organs of State.  

According to the terms of reference, the commission will 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 State-owned enterprises (SOEs).

Making an impassioned plea to potential witnesses on Wednesday, Zondo said the Commission is important to the nation.

“This [allegations of State Capture] is a very serious issue in our country. The whole nation wants to know what happened, who did what and who knew what.”

This is not the first time the Deputy Chief Justice is making this call. However, he says people are not coming forward to help the commission.

However, Zondo pointed out that just because people do not come forward does not mean the Commission will not get to find out what they know.

“Just (because) we have been inviting them to come forward doesn’t mean that if they don’t come forward, this commission will not get to know what some of them know.

“The commission will investigate. I just hope that people will realise that it will be better if they come forward on their own to help the Commission rather than being dragged kicking and screaming.”

Today the commission is hearing testimony from Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene who told the commission that he believed that he was recalled by former president Jacob Zuma because he refused to toe the line on certain projects that could have benefited the controversial Gupta family who are at the centre of the investigations.

Since its start in August, the commission has heard testimonies from former finance deputy minister Mcebisi Jonas, acting GCIS DG Phumla Williams, Vytjie Mentor, Themba Maseko, as well as bank representatives.

“We appreciate all of those that are coming forward to assist the commission,” Zondo said, adding that their legal team is in the process of identifying and consulting with another witness who will be called to appear before the commission over the next few weeks.

The public hearings are being held at 16 Empire Road, Johannesburg, while there is a desk at 17 Empire Road for the public to make submissions. The public will be able to have inputs and evidence via the hotline for inquiries: 010 214 0651. -