NEWS & ANALYSIS

No need for a standalone inquiry into Bosasa - Cyril Ramaphosa

President notes Zondo commission already looking into the matter

2.      The Leader of the Opposition (DA) to ask the President of the Republic:

Whether he intends to institute a full-scale, independent inquiry, headed by a retired judge to be selected by the Chief Justice, to further investigate all allegations of state capture that involve Bosasa, now known as African Global Operations, following the revelations made in the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector and the findings of the Public Protector in her report titled Report on an Investigation into Allegations of a Violation of the Executive Ethics Code through an Improper Relationship between the President and African Global Operations, formerly known as Bosasa, Report 37 of 2019-20? NO1419E

REPLY:

Honourable Members,

In January 2018, then President Jacob Zuma appointed a Commission of Inquiry to investigate allegations of state capture, corruption and fraud in the Public Sector including organs of state.

The Deputy Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa, Judge Raymond Zondo, was appointed as the Chairperson of the Commission, having been identified by Chief Justice Mogoeng.

According to its terms of reference, among other things:

“The Commission shall inquire into, make findings, report on and make recommendations concerning the following…

“1.9  the nature and extent of corruption, if any, in the awarding of contracts and tenders to companies, business entities or organizations by Government Departments, agencies and entities. In particular, whether any member of the National Executive (including the President), public official, functionary of any organ of state influenced the awarding of tenders to benefit themselves, their families or entities in which they held a personal interest…”

It should be obvious from these terms of reference that the Commission of Inquiry into state capture has both the mandate and the authority to investigate the matters to which the Hon Maimane refers.

It is a matter of public record that the Commission is indeed investigating various allegations with respect to Bosasa, now known as African Global Operations.

I have already deposed an affidavit to the commission regarding any contact or dealings I may have had with persons who have either appeared before the commission or have been named at the commission in one form or another.

I have also said that I would be willing to appear before the commission at any time that the commission would want to hear me on any matter that may assist them in their work.

There is therefore absolutely no reason to establish a new inquiry to investigate a matter that is already being investigated by a sitting Commission of Inquiry.

 As a country, and as leaders, we should direct our efforts towards supporting the Zondo Commission of Inquiry and urging all those with information relevant to its mandate to make themselves available to the Commission.

We need also to support and equip the National Prosecuting Authority to pursue investigations and prosecutions where there is evidence of criminality.

As for the report of the Public Protector, Honourable Members may know that this matter has been taken on urgent judicial review.

We should allow the courts to make a determination on this matter. Let us give the courts the opportunity to deal with this matter – after which we can have a political discussion.

I am waiting for the courts to make a determination on this matter and I would like this to be done as urgently as possible, so that all of us as South Africans can get on with our lives and we can get on with the task of governance in our country.

I thank you.

Issued by The Presidency, 23 August 2019