SIU tribunal to start on Tuesday as government tries to recover R14.7bn
A Special Investigating Unit (SIU) tribunal set up to recover R14.7bn stolen from the state will be fully operational as of Tuesday, October 1.
Justice and correctional services minister Ronald Lamola has gazetted the regulations for the special tribunal, which has come into effect from Thursday.
He said the tribunal would boost the government’s fight against corruption, fraud and illicit money flows.
"This tribunal is a swift mechanism to claw back every cent that was stolen from the fiscus. The era of impunity is behind us, the establishment of the tribunal gives effect to the president’s Sona [state of the nation address] undertaking to have a special tribunal operating within three months," Lamola said.
The department said judge Gidfonia Mlindelwa Makhanya would chair the tribunal full-time, and would be supported by seven other judges.
"The special tribunal has a statutory mandate to recover public funds syphoned from the fiscus through corruption, fraud and illicit money flows," the department said.
Earlier this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the establishment of the tribunal, which he said was an effort to fast-track the recovery of funds lost to the state from corruption or irregular spending.
As per the published regulations, the SIU tribunal would differ from ordinary civil proceedings which are adversarial in nature.
“The special tribunal adopts a more flexible and expeditious approach to legal actions, its proceedings are inquisitorial in nature and characterised by extensive pre-trial investigations. Furthermore, the tribunal president or a member of the tribunal is empowered to dictate the pace of proceedings,” the department of justice said.
The matters that would be brought to the tribunal, which is expected to sit at the Booysens magistrate's court, are matters where the SIU would usually have gone the civil litigation route to have government contracts declared invalid or set aside.