Independent Online

Friday, December 8, 2023

View 0 recent articles pushed to you.Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by location

Law firm to target individuals implicated in Chief Justice Zondo’s report

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan is going after people and companies implicated in the final report of the commission of inquiry into state capture. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi/African News Agency (ANA)

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan is going after people and companies implicated in the final report of the commission of inquiry into state capture. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Oct 29, 2023


THE Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) has set its sights on individual implicated in the final report of Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s commission of inquiry into state capture at several key state-owned entities.

The department is responsible for some of the largest state-owned entities that featured prominently in the commission’s findings and recommendations including Eskom, Transnet, SAA, SA Express and Denel.

Now it wants to hire a law firm to advise it on the implementation of the recommendations of the state capture commission, including legal strategies to pursue consequence management such as civil recoveries, criminal proceedings, declaration of directors’ delinquency, barring by professional bodies and blacklisting of implicated companies, among others.

According to information obtained by the Sunday Independent, the DPE wants lawyers to advise it on the course of action that it may take to pursue consequence management.

The lawyers should also draft legal opinions, work with other state-owned companies and compile reports on the implementation of the commission’s recommendations.

In addition, they will provide support in referring criminal allegations of fraud and corruption to the relevant law enforcement agencies or other appropriate bodies.

The project management team will be controlled and directed by an official assigned by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan or the department’s acting director-general, Jacky Molisane.

The department has undertaken to facilitate all engagements, meetings and workshops with relevant stakeholders as well as reasonable access necessary for the successful implementation of the year-long project, and the provision of documents and company information.

About R2.55 billion in state capture cases has been recovered, according to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

The NPA’s Investigating Directorate (ID) has paid the money into the Criminal Assets Recovery Account.

”Whilst it is acknowledged that there is still a long way to go, this represents a significant milestone in the recovery of assets that were illegally obtained through state capture,” the NPA stated in its 2022/23 annual report.

The ID said a significant portion (32%) of all authorised matters relate to investigations into alleged state capture while 50% of all enrolled matters relate to state capture.

Accused individuals standing trial in state capture matters also constitute 13% of the total number of accused persons, while accused entities constitute 20% of all accused entities before court.

The Asset Forfeiture Unit secured freezing orders valued at R570 million as part of its strategy to pursue the monies stolen by the perpetrators of corruption and the enablers and facilitators of state capture.

This week, Parliament’s joint committee on ethics and members’ interests recommended that ANC MP and former transport minister Dipuo Peters be suspended from her seat during all parliamentary debates and sittings as well as committee meetings and committee-related functions and operations for one term of the parliamentary programme.

Peters’ suspension follows a complaint by non-profit organisation #UniteBehind on her failure to appoint a permanent Passenger Rail Agency of SA chief executive during the so-called state capture era.

The committee found that Peters was under a duty to ensure that corruption was rooted out from public entities after she was accused of facilitating the use of Prasa buses for ANC events in 2014 and 2015 without ensuring the governing party paid.