News / South Africa / State Capture

Makhosandile Zulu
2 minute read
20 Feb 2019
11:17 am

Zondo commission urged to invoke powers to summon implicated persons

Makhosandile Zulu

The commission's evidence leader says the implicated persons who have flatly denied allegations should be the ones summoned.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency

The chairperson of the commission of inquiry into state capture, deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, has been urged to invoke the powers bestowed on him to compel those implicated in evidence before the commission on allegations of state capture to provide their version of events.

Evidence leader advocate Isaac Maleka urged Zondo to invoke these powers as the commission turned its focus on Eskom on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Zondo commission turns focus on to Eskom

Maleka said very few individuals implicated in the state capture project, whether at parliamentary inquiries or at the commission chaired by Zondo, have had the opportunity to give their version of events.

Maleka said the commission’s legal team would “in due course identify” those implicated in the state capture project so that the commission’s chair could summon them to appear before the commission.

Zondo told Maleka that he and the commission’s legal team should consider not waiting until the end of the estimated two and half to three weeks that the commission would focus on Eskom to give those implicated time to respond to these allegations and prepare their statements.

Maleka said the commission was currently interacting with persons implicated in the state capture project, adding that some had become whistleblowers, while some had agreed to cooperate with the commission and that some had “flatly disputed the allegations”, with the latter lot being the ones that Zondo should consider when invoking his powers to have them give their version of events.

Maleka said the commission would in the next couple of days deal with previous reports on the alleged state capture project at Eskom, including the National Assembly’s portfolio committee on public enterprises’ report dated November 28, 2018, on Eskom.

This would ensure that the commission does not unnecessarily rerun the same probes, which is important since the commission does not have sufficient resources to do so, Maleka said.

Zondo welcomed this approach, saying it will ensure that the commission does not re-run the same process on investigating allegations of state capture into Eskom.

“But we must apply our minds to findings made by other bodies and decide if they are justifiable. This is cost-effective,” Zondo said.

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