Progress is being made on commission recommendations: Ramaphosa

02 November 2023 - 18:32
By Amanda Khoza
President Cyril Ramaphosa appeared virtually in the National Assembly on Thursday.
Image: GCIS. President Cyril Ramaphosa appeared virtually in the National Assembly on Thursday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured parliament that recommendations made by various commissions of inquiry will be implemented.

“Many charges have been preferred against a number of people who have been involved in state capture, many cases are appearing before our courts and there’s been a process of following up on their assets through the Asset Forfeiture Unit.

“In the end we pay little attention to the progress that is made with regards to the reclaiming of ill-gotten monies that are now coming back to the state and people who are in court. Progress is being made. Rest assured that as we proceed, processes of following up on all of those who have committed any form of wrongdoing will continue,” Ramaphosa told MPs.

The president made the commitment during a question-and-answer session in the National Assembly on Thursday. 

He was responding to a question by the IFP’s Narend Singh, who asked him how many commissions of inquiry he had established since taking office and wanted progress on the presidential remuneration review commission for 2023/24.

Ramaphosa said he had established two commissions of inquiry since taking office. 

“The first of these was into tax administration and governance by the SA Revenue Service which was established on May 23 2018. The second was into allegations of impropriety regarding the Public Investment Corporation which was established on October 17 2018.”

He said the state capture commission was appointed by former president Jacob Zuma. 

On the presidential remuneration review commission, Ramaphosa said in 2013 Zuma appointed a commission of inquiry into the remuneration and conditions of service in the public services and entities. 

“The commission was headed by retired judge chief justice Ngcobo and retired deputy president of the Supreme Court justice Mthiyane. The commission completed its work, and its report was approved by the cabinet in February 2021.” 

He said the report and its recommendations were referred to the department of public service & administration to inform its work with respect to remuneration standards.

However, Singh asked Ramaphosa to give the Independent Commission for Remuneration of Office Bearers a red card for dragging its feet in completing its work. 

Ramaphosa said: “I hear the frustration that you are articulating. It is well understood and their work is overdue. I am informed that the process of preparing their report is under way and that the submission of the recommendation to the president and its publication will happen before the end of the financial year.” 

Ramaphosa said the commission worked independently and “we need to retain that level of independence and non-interference”. 

He agreed that as the country prepares to enter the seventh administration it's important that public office bearers know what terms and conditions will govern their tenure. 

Ramaphosa said many lessons had been learnt from the establishment of the two commissions that he appointed, including that the recommendations had been turnt into legislation of regulations. 

“We are making considerable progress with regards to the implementation of the recommendations that were made. Valuable and important lessons were learnt, and we hope and trust that Sars and the PIC will be better organisations once their recommendations have been implemented.” 

DA leader John Steenhuisen told Ramaphosa that it was pointless to appoint commissions if the recommendations will not be implemented. 

“The Zondo report found against Dipuo Peters, Zizi Kodwa, Khumbudzo Nshavheni, Gwede Mantashe and Thabang Makwetla for their parts in state capture and yet these people still sit around your cabinet table. 

“How can you honestly say there is nowhere for these people to hide when they are hiding in plain sight around your cabinet table?” 

Ramaphosa reminded the House the recommendations put forward by the state capture commission were being processed. 

“A considerable amount of progress is being made in implementing various recommendations that were put forward. At the same time I did say that our law enforcement agencies, particularly the prosecutorial agencies, are processing whatever actions that can and will be taken against anyone implicated in wrongdoing.”