Erasmus commission closes shop

The Erasmus commission has officially shut down in the wake of this week’s high court judgement declaring it illegal, commission secretary Zithulele Twala said on Thursday.

”It’s no longer in existence,” he said. ”It has stopped pursuant to the high court judgement.”

He said he and evidence leader Frans Petersen, who were employed full-time by the commission, had gone back to their practices, himself as an attorney and Petersen to his job with a forensic auditing firm.

Twala said the commission had collected a substantial amount of evidence — ”you can say a roomful” — which was housed in his offices. It consisted of paper documents and electronic data stored on CDs.

When the office of Western Cape Premier Lynne Brown confirmed that she would not take the matter any further by appealing the judgement, ”then obviously that [means the] information must be destroyed”, he said.

All the documents were copies of originals held elsewhere, he said.

He said he would have to consult commission chairperson Judge Nathan Erasmus on how the material would be destroyed.

Brown said in a media statement earlier this week that the province had no intention of challenging the ruling.

The commission was set up by former premier Ebrahim Rasool last year to probe alleged irregularities in the City of Cape Town.

A full bench of judges sitting in the Cape High Court found that he set up the commission merely in a bid to politically embarrass the Democratic Alliance (DA), and that it was unconstitutional.

They also found that Erasmus, as a sitting judge, should not have accepted the chairpersonship of the commission.

The ruling followed a challenge by the City of Cape Town and the DA, which leads the city government. — Sapa

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