The Moerane Commission’s report on political killings appears to be making progress through the KwaZulu-Natal legislature after being tabled before two portfolio committees last week.
Legislature spokesperson Wonder Hlongwa on Tuesday said the Premier, Royal Household and the Community Safety and Liaison Committee had met on Friday morning to consider the report.
Hlongwa said the meeting was closed to the media and the public for legal reasons.
He said, while the provincial legislature understood that there was an enormous public interest in the content of the report, the meeting had to be closed because there were serious allegations implicating a number of people who may face prosecution, but have not yet had an opportunity to respond to allegations.
‘Transcripts are still embargoed’
Hlongwa said the report would go back to the office of the premier and be publicly released once both committees had given their input.
“The KZN legislature adheres to the transparency provision in the Constitution, but would not be reckless and fuel an already inflammatory situation by making public contents of the report, which could lead to acts of retribution and legal action taken.”
There has also been contestation over whether transcripts from the commission should be made public. Commission head Marumo Moerane has previously said that the transcripts were not being made public because key witnesses could be compromised.
“The transcripts are still embargoed because there are a number of witnesses whose identities should not be revealed,” he said at the time.
‘We demand transparency’
When asked if the transcripts could be released with the names of witnesses censored, Moerane said this was a possibility at a later stage.
In April, the Right2Know Campaign (R2K) said it was “disturbed to learn that the Moerane Commission of Inquiry had refused to release its transcripts to the public and to the media”.
“We demand transparency in all issues pertaining to the Moerane Commission of Inquiry, especially in accessing transcripts and ultimately the report of the commission,” it said in a statement at the time.
The commission was established in October 2016 by Premier Willies Mchunu amid a high number of political killings in the province. It has investigated killings that have taken place in the province since 2011.
It has been widely reported that political killings in KwaZulu-Natal since 2014 have claimed well over 100 lives. — News24