NEWS
26/03/2018 14:37 SAST | Updated 26/03/2018 14:42 SAST

Public Protector Hands Over Documents To State Capture Inquiry

"The record includes documentary evidence and transcripts of meetings and interviews, among other things."

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, in October 2016.
Mike Hutchings / Reuters
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, in October 2016.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has shared 17 boxes of documents, relating to her state capture commission investigation, with Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo as he prepares for the upcoming judicial commission of inquiry into state capture.

Mkhwebane's office on Monday released a statement saying it had met with Zondo in Johannesburg last week to discuss the inquiry's pending commencement.

"The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the sharing of the record of the investigation into allegations of state capture as the commission prepares to commence work," said the public protector's spokesperson, Oupa Segalwe.

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"The record includes documentary evidence and transcripts of meetings and interviews, among other things.

"It has been packaged into 110 lever arch files and 17 boxes and shipped off to the commission."

Mkhwebane's predecessor, Thuli Madonsela, published a report titled "State of Capture" as her last act in office in October 2016, which recommended the establishment of the commission.

The office has compiled and published other work related to the matter, including a 2014 investigation into the failed Vrede dairy farm project.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, meanwhile, has made a technical amendment concerning criminal culpability in the regulations guiding the state capture inquiry.

"On the basis of legal advice, the president has amended regulation 8(2) to limit the inadmissibility of such evidence to circumstances where a witness may incriminate themselves," said the presidency.

The change Ramaphosa ordered came after submissions received by the presidency from the Helen Suzman Foundation and AfriForum, which suggested that the regulation may undermine efforts to prosecute anybody implicated in criminal activity.

The regulation now reads: "A self-incriminating answer or a statement given by a witness before the commission shall not be admissible as evidence against that person in any criminal proceedings brought against that person instituted in any court, except in criminal proceedings where the person concerned is charged with an offence in terms of section 6 of the Commissions Act, 1947 (Act No. 8 of 1947)."

Former president Jacob Zuma released the terms of reference for the inquiry in January this year.

It will investigate if, by whom and to what extent attempts were made, through any form of inducement or for any gain, to influence members of the national executive, including deputy ministers, office bearers and directors of the boards of state-owned entities.

It will investigate all forms of government corruption, including allegations against Zuma, his Cabinet ministers, the Gupta family and state-owned entities.