President Cyril Ramaphosa Picture: Rodger Bosch/Reuters/African News Agency (ANA)
President Cyril Ramaphosa Picture: Rodger Bosch/Reuters/African News Agency (ANA)

Nothing prevents law enforcement from probing #StateCapture claims - Ramaphosa

By MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA Time of article published Mar 5, 2019

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Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa says he will wait for the report of the Zondo Commission on State Capture before deciding what action to take against Cabinet ministers implicated in wrongdoing during the hearings.

In a written parliamentary reply, Ramaphosa also said there was nothing stopping the law enforcement agencies from investigating any alleged improprieties by the ministers.

Ramaphosa was responding to a question posed by the IFP’s Mkhuleko Hlengwa.

Hlengwa had enquired whether Ramaphosa would take action against Minister of Environmental Affairs Nomvula Mokonyane, former minister of mineral resources Mosebenzi Zwane and Deputy Minister of Correctional Services Thabang Makwetla.

The trio recently featured in testimony heard at the Zondo commission.

Former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi testified how he was assigned to shower Mokonyane with monthly allowances of R50 000 in cash, which he packed in bags, and annual Christmas gifts in the form of alcohol and meat.

Also testifying at the commission, former Glencore SA chief executive Clinton Ephron told of the role played by Zwane when the mining company was put under pressure by Eskom executives and third parties to sell the Optimum mine.

Global Technological Systems regional technical co-ordinator Richard le Roux testified how he was instructed by Bosasa chief executive Gavin Watson to install full electric fencing, a full alarm system with beams monitoring movement, and a CCTV system at Makwetla’s house.

In his written response, Ramaphosa said the Zondo commission was currently under way. He said following the conclusion of the inquiry, the commission would submit findings and recommendations to him.

“The president will await the report of the commission before determining what action needs to be taken, including against any members of the Cabinet that may be implicated in the report,” Ramaphosa said.

He said there was nothing preventing the relevant authorities in the criminal justice system from investigating allegations of impropriety by ministers or any other persons.

“In any such instances, legal processes must be allowed to be concluded with due regard for the rule of law,” Ramaphosa said.

The president’s written response comes days before he responds to oral questions in the National Assembly.

On Thursday, DA leader Mmusi Maimane will ask him whether he would instruct his Cabinet to conduct an audit of all contracts concluded between national departments and Bosasa.

Maimane has been pressuring Ramaphosa to instruct his government to cancel all Bosasa contracts and place a moratorium on any new contracts with the company, or any of its subsidiaries.

This comes when Ramaphosa is already facing a probe by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane over the R500 000 he received from Watson for his election campaign for the ANC presidency.

Meanwhile, Police Minister Bheki Cele has confirmed he was aware of testimony given by Agrizzi about him visiting a prawn farm linked to the Watsons in Gauteng.

Cele was responding to a written question from the EFF’s Natasha Ntlangwini. He said former president Jacob Zuma had invited him while he was deputy minister of agriculture to view an aqua project.

Cele denied receiving any gifts from Bosasa. “There were no gifts, either financial or material received from Bosasa by the former deputy minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries,” Cele said in his written reply.

Political Bureau

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