OUTA welcomes state capture inquiry terms of reference
“We have been waiting for this commission of inquiry since November 2016 when it was listed as the key remedial action required by the Public Protector’s State of Capture report,” says Ben Theron, OUTA’s Chief Operating Officer.
“We believe the terms of reference gazetted today are specific enough to adhere to the Public Protector’s requirements but broad enough to allow Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo sufficient leeway to do his work.”
The new Judicial Commission of Inquiry to Inquire Into the Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector Including Organs of State was delayed by President Jacob Zuma’s refusal to appoint it. Only the president has the power to appoint a commission. On 13 December last year, the Pretoria High Court ruled that the Public Protector’s remedial action was binding and ordered President Zuma to appoint the inquiry within 30 days. On 9 January, President Zuma announced that the inquiry would be set up under Deputy Chief Justice Zondo and today’s terms of reference formalise that announcement.
“OUTA has done substantial work opposing state capture and corruption, including providing information to Parliament, the gathering of evidence, case building and laying criminal charges and civil cases against those implicated in corruption, which makes OUTA ready and willing to contribute to this inquiry,” says Theron.
While the terms of reference have been gazetted, the commission urgently needs the regulations which allow it to hire staff and run the temporary organisation. It also needs a budget, which has not yet been costed by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.
OUTA looks forward to contributing meaningfully to this process and believes that the perpetrators and peddlers of power will be exposed and brought to book. OUTA will actively support this critical venture.