NPA and Hawks to act against accused in Zondo commission report
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Johannesburg - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Hawks are hard at work reviewing the Zondo commission report with the view to act against those who were responsible for state capture.
This was revealed in a joint statement issued by the NPA and Hawks on Wednesday in which they announced that the two law enforcement agencies individually appointed task teams to act on the Zondo commission’s findings.
Last week, the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture headed by Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo issued damning findings against various people including former president Jacob Zuma.
Zondo in his findings ruled that South Africa was captured by the Gupta family while Zuma was still at helm.
In his initial report, Zondo ruled that the capture of the state was fervent at SAA, SAA Technical and SA Express.
He found irregularities and malfeasance at the SA Revenue Services (Sars) and how state owned entities were used to fund the now defunct Gupta owned newspaper The New Age.
As a result of the Zondo findings, NPA national spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga and Hawks national spokesperson Brigadier Nomthandazo Mbambo issued a joint statement confirming that both agencies were preparing themselves to act on the findings.
“The NPA and Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (DPCI) are systematically reviewing the Commission’s findings and recommendations, with a view to investigating and building cases for criminal prosecution against those who broke the law, be they from the public or private sectors.
“This will include, where appropriate, the freezing and forfeiture of the proceeds of crimes.
“It’s however important to note the differences between the evidence presented before a commission of enquiry and evidence required to meet the standard of proof for prosecutions.
“In the case of the latter, criminal investigations will be conducted so that evidence can be presented in criminal matters, in accordance with the South African law of evidence,” the parties said.
Both, however, acknowledged that this was a Herculean task given the volume of materials and the finite human and financial resources available to our law enforcement and criminal justice agencies.
But the NPA said it was vigorously exploring options to boost its capacities, capabilities and resources.
It will continue to do so with the assistance of relevant departments, including the National Treasury, Department of Public Service and Administration and the Solicitor General’s Office, and with the support of the minister and the director general of Justice Department.
“The NPA will also continue its collaborative approach in line with its legal mandate, including with the private sector as appropriate.
“The NPA welcomes the expressions of support from the private sector and will continue to engage with these key partners as appropriate, whilst insulating itself from any perceptions of external influence.
“The NPA takes note of the commission’s finding that it failed to respond adequately to state capture, and that the NPA’s institutional weaknesses need to be addressed.
“In this regard, the NDPP has publicly acknowledged the challenges facing the NPA, including in its efforts to prosecute high-level corruption matters,” Mhaga said.
Supporting the NPA, Brigadier Mbambo said the Hawks would, as mandated to deal with national priority offences, which include serious corruption, serious commercial crime and serious organised crime, take its place alongside its partners and respond accordingly to the commission’s recommendations which fall within the Hawks’ mandate.
“A team comprising of senior officers from the operational investigation components is identifying cases that may have been reported and currently being investigated by the respective components of the DPCI, prior to the release of the commission’s first report.
“This will enable the DPCI to take stock of what is already part of the commission’s findings and recommendations which forms part of its existing investigations, and equally respond to other recommendations as they may fall within its mandate, but not part of the existing investigations,” Mbambo said.