State capture inquiry can now get off the ground

09 February 2018 - 15:08 By Ernest Mabuza
Justice Raymond Zondo.
Justice Raymond Zondo.
Image: Elmond Jiyane GCIS

The regulations that enable the inquiry into state capture to start operating were published on Friday.

This follows last month’s appointment by President Jacob Zuma of Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo as chair of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture.

In January‚ Zuma also published terms of reference of the commission‚ which requires it to inquire and make recommendations for issues contained in the public protector’s State of Capture report.

The regulations provide that no person appearing before the commission may refuse to answer any question on any grounds.

They can be assisted by an advocate or an attorney.

Zondo may designate one or more knowledgeable or experienced people to assist the commission in the performance of its functions.

He also has the right to appoint the secretary of the commission and other persons and officers as required.

The regulations also said Zondo or any officer‚ may‚ with a warrant‚ enter and inspect any premises and demand and seize any document or article on those premises.

In addition‚ the treasury will ensure that the commission has adequate funds.

Justice Minister Michael Masutha said the publication of the regulations enabled Zondo to collect evidence‚ subpoena witnesses and to present documentary evidence relevant to the inquiry.

The minister said that people could be seconded from the public.

An inter-departmental technical committee led by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and the Office of the Chief Justice has been established to provide support to Zondo in setting up the commission‚ Masutha said.