Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has written a formal request to the President Jacob Zuma asking him to ensure that the terms of reference (ToR) for the commission of inquiry are not limited to the issues investigated or identified in the State of Capture report.
Spokesperson Cleo Mosana confirmed to The Citizen that the formal communication was forwarded to the Presidency “based on our reality that as an institution we are under-resourced”.
Mosana said Mkhwebane would prefer that deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo dispose of all state capture complaints, as the office didn’t have the financial capacity to pursue further investigations on the matter.
“We can’t deal with the Gupta leaks complaints. We made an request for R31-million additional funding for state capture which we did not receive,” she said.
But a former senior staff member who worked during the period in which former public protector Thuli Madonsela grilled president Jacob Zuma and other implicated parties, and speaking on condition of strict anonymity, believes Mkhwebane’s gesture is misplaced.
The legal expert is perplexed the legal brains internally as well as service providers failed to point out to the former home affairs immigration counsellor for the China office that Zuma has been declared conflicted by the report, a declaration whose validity was upheld by a high court.
“[Deputy Chief Justice] Zondo must decide. He has a court judgment and State of Capture report as a reference point. It’s his commission. The president can’t set the terms of reference. He is conflicted,” the former staffer said.