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20 Mar 2019 20:56
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the creation of the directorate, which he said was requested by NDPP Shamila Batoyi, during his State of the Nation address in February. (Gulshan Khan/Pool via Reuters)
President Cyril Ramaphosa has proclaimed the establishment of an investigative directorate in the office of the national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) Shamila Batoyi, to deal with allegations of corruption and state capture emanating from various commissions of inquiry instituted during his first year in office.
This could potentially lead to the prosecution of those implicated in state capture, including former president Jacob Zuma and a number of his Cabinet ministers, from Lynne Brown, Malusi Gigaba and Nomvula Mokonyane to his loyal lieutenants appointed in other institutions such as former South African Revenue Service (Sars) Commissioner Tom Moyane.
Gigaba and Mokonyane have made it back onto the ANC’s list of MPs heading to Parliament, despite being implicated in allegations of bribery and state capture at the commission of inquiry into state capture — chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
Ramaphosa announced the creation of the directorate, which he said was requested by Batoyi, during his State of the Nation address in February.
While the move was broadly welcomed at the time, Ramaphosa and his party’s commitment to fighting malfeasance was called into question with the inclusion of individuals implicated in corruption and bribery appeared on its parliamentary list.
In a statement, the Presidency said the new directorate would investigate “common law offences” including fraud, forgery, theft and “any offence involving dishonesty”.
The directorate is tasked with investigating allegations made in the Zondo commission, the commission of inquiry into governance at Sars —chaired by retired judge Robert Nugent — as well as the Public Investment Corporation inquiry headed by retired judge Lex Mpati.
But the directorate is not limited to allegations arising from the various inquiries in progress: it may also investigate serious, high profile or complex corruption cases referred to it by the NDPP.
It will focus on contraventions of various anti-corruption laws in addition to the Public Finance Management Act, the Municipal Finance Management Act, the Financial Intelligence Centre Act — which includes looking into money laundering — and “any other statutory contravention involving dishonesty”.
Natasha Marrian is Mail & Guardian's politics editor. Read more from Natasha Marrian
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