President Cyril Ramaphosa says they have made progress in implementing some of the recommendations of the Zondo Commission by making several arrests, seizing assets and recovering billions that have been illegally siphoned from the state coffers.
In his report on the implementation of the report, Ramaphosa said on Monday they have also tightened the law and gave more powers to the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Investigating Directorate and resources to crackdown on state capture cases.
He said several departments and law enforcement agencies are involved in the implementation of the State Capture Report’s recommendations. These include the Hawks, the Financial Intelligence Centre, the NPA and the Special Investigating Unit.
.“No less than 31 government departments, law enforcement agencies, statutory bodies, regulators and professional bodies are involved in implementing the response. These efforts are presented in this report and collectively represent a major reform initiative designed to redress wrongs of the past and advance the renewal of our society.
“Many of the actions contained in the President’s response are major legislative and institution reforms that will take many years to achieve,” said the report.
Ramaphosa has also referred more than 200 recommendations to law enforcement agencies for criminal charges and prosecution.
Out of these recommendations, 47 people have been charged in court.
The remaining cases were under investigation.
“While public frustration continues at the slow pace of prosecution, the investments being made to strengthen law enforcement agencies are showing results,” said Ramaphosa in the report.
However, the SIU has also been investigating corruption in State-Owned Entities, including at Eskom, Denel, Transnet and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).
The Department of Public Enterprises is also expected to finalise its delinquency processes against 73 former directors at SOEs.
Ramaphosa said the budget of the NPA has been increased by 21.6% in the last two years.
In addition, Parliament will soon pass a law that will make the Investigating Directorate (ID) permanent.
“The reform will allow for the reintroduction of the prosecutor-led investigation model which was successfully used in the late 1990s. This gives the ID authority to have its own investigators who can take statements, make arrests and testify in court, among other powers,” said Ramaphosa.
The National Assembly is expected to adopt in the NPA Bill, which will make the ID permanent, on Tuesday.
The SIU has filed court papers to recover R64 billion stolen from the state coffers.
The Asset Forfeiture Unit of the NPA has seized assets to the value of R14.1bn and “R5.4 billion has to date been recovered and returned to the state.”
“The Sars (SA Revenue Service) has also acted against people named in the commission’s report and collected R4.8 billion in unpaid taxes in the 2022/2023 financial year as a result of evidence presented at the commission,” said Ramaphosa.