12/04/2018 12:30 SAST | Updated 12/04/2018 13:05 SAST

State Capture Inquiry Still Gathering Information Ahead Of Public Hearings

The judicial commission of inquiry into state capture will only start the process of public hearings once "they feel they are ready".

Getty Images
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo during a memorial service for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela on April 9 2018 in Johannesburg.

A month after Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo established his crack team to tackle state capture, the commission of inquiry remains at an administrative stage, with no date for the commencement of public hearings in sight.

The commission is struggling to secure a venue for the public hearings and is currently gathering information and documentation relating to various cases of state capture.

In an interview with HuffPost, judiciary spokesperson Nathi Mncube said there is no specific date as yet on when public hearings will commence.

READ: Who Is The Man Behind SA's Biggest Probe?

"[The team members] are busy gathering information; investigations are under way and other people are busy submitting the relevant documents to the head of the investigation... For instance, the public protector [Busisiwe Mkhwebane] did submit some documents that her predecessor [Thuli Madonsela] and herself were dealing with, but I can't be too specific on whether [the commission] has approached any witnesses as yet," Mncube said.

"There isn't a specific date [for public hearings]. People are busy working. As and when they feel they are ready, then they will hold public hearings. What I do know is they were struggling to secure a venue for the hearings, so what they are busy with in the main now is administrative work in preparing for the hearings."

READ: The Powers Of The State Capture Commission

The commission is tasked with unravelling the Gupta family's empire of corruption, but the terms of reference of the commission have been widened to include a much broader probe. Jacob Zuma ordered the commission of inquiry under pressure from the ANC, as one of his final acts as state president in January.

The inquiry is wide-ranging, but will specifically investigate the veracity of claims that the Gupta family assumed the power to choose the Cabinet of South Africa.

Zondo's chosen team includes former auditor-general Terence Nombembe, Vincent Maleka, Paul Pretorius, Leah Gcabashe and Thandi Norman.