There should be no room to hide for state capture perpetrators
The hard copy of the first instalment of the much-anticipated State Capture Commission report was publicly handed over to President Ramaphosa on Tuesday 4 January, following the handover of a digital version by the legal deadline of 31 December.
OUTA believes this is a momentous occasion for law-abiding citizens of South Africa to celebrate.
“Despite the fact that we have already experienced years of hearing evidence and exposés of ever-worsening scenarios of state capture and grand looting, we are pleased the State Capture Commissioner has finally produced this report, which is a formal account and assessment of what took place, who was involved and provides recommendations as to what should happen going forward,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA CEO.
This is what South Africa has been waiting for and now it’s over to the law enforcement agencies to deal with the reams of content contained in the report. South Africans desperately want to see those who transgressed the laws or were involved in State Capture held to account and as much as possible of the money stolen recovered by the State.
“There should be no room to hide anymore,” says Duvenage, in a reference to OUTA’s submission to Parliament in June 2017, in which OUTA motivated for action by Parliament against state capture perpetrators.
The Commission’s important report provides clear directions on who should be investigated with a view to prosecution – both perpetrators and those in positions of authority who allowed criminal activity to go ahead on their watch – losses to be recovered, laws to be updated and recommendations for the appointment of board members and improved oversight.
It found unequivocally that state capture exists.
It is a savage indictment not just of criminal behaviour but also of the failures of those responsible for oversight.
OUTA is particularly pleased to see the actions recommended against Dudu Myeni, who was declared a delinquent director for life as a result of OUTA’s legal action.
OUTA calls on law enforcement investigators and prosecutors not to wait for the President to submit the report to Parliament, but to get to work immediately, with a view to prosecuting wrongdoers and reclaiming stolen funds. The unpacking and use of information provided in the report will no doubt be met with resistance from the many perpetrators, however, we believe the rule of law will prevail.
The Commission’s enormous archive of information – including millions of pages of documentary evidence – should provide sufficient evidence for the clean-up ahead and guide the development of new processes for both preventing and tackling the abuse of state funds going forward. OUTA calls on the President to ensure the handover of the Commission’s archive to the National Prosecuting Authority as soon as it is delivered to him.
OUTA believes that Cabinet should now also be tasked to find and approve more resources to ensure that that the Special Investigating Unit, the National Prosecuting Authority, the courts, the Asset Forfeiture Unit and SARS are up to the task that lies ahead for them.
We believe this report will give new energy to the fight against corruption.
OUTA welcomes the recognition given to whistleblowers by the Commission and the President, and urges all South Africans to report acts of corruption, maladministration and mismanagement to the authorities, alternatively to whistleblower platforms established by civil society organisations.
OUTA welcomes the fact that the President has also decided to make the report available to the public “immediately” after each part is submitted to him, and that in terms of the court order, he will submit the full report to Parliament along with an indication of his intentions on implementation by 30 June at the latest.
OUTA urges those interested in the future of our country to read this report, or read the official summary when it becomes available.
OUTA will comment further on this report after we have gone through it.
Comment by OUTA CEO Wayne Duvenage is here.
Part 1 of the report is online on the Presidency website here.