The commission of inquiry into state capture will probe whether President Jacob Zuma, government ministers or staff from state owned entities were involved in awarding unlawful tenders to the Gupta family.
The terms of reference‚ published on Thursday in the Government Gazette‚ appear to be in line with recommendations made by former public protector Thuli Madonsela.
Among others‚ the inquiry will investigate claims made by former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas and former MP Vytjie Mentor that they were offered cabinet positions by members of the Gupta family.
It will also look into allegations of irregularities in the awarding of contracts‚ mining licences and government advertising in the New Age newspaper and any other government services.
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela recommended that Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng‚ rather than Zuma‚ appoint the chair of the inquiry. Mogoeng appointed Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to lead the commission.
Zondo told reporters on Tuesday that the allegations to be probed by the commission are of a “very‚ very serious nature in our country.”
The justice department has said the terms of reference will be followed by the release of regulations that give the commission the legal competence to conduct the investigation‚ adding that this includes the power of the chairperson to subpoena witnesses and of search and seizure.
The commission must submit its report and recommendations to the president within 180 days of the commencement of the commission.
Read the full terms of reference below:
– whether‚ and to what extent and by whom attempts were made through any form of inducement or for any gain of whatsoever nature of influence member of the national executive (including deputy ministers‚ office bearers and/or functionaries employed by or office bearers of any state institution or organ of state or directors of the boards of SOEs.
– in particular the commission must investigate the veracity of allegations that former deputy minister of finance‚ Mcebisi Jonas and Miss Vytjie Mentor were offered cabinet positions by the Gupta family.
– whether the president had any role in the alleged offers of cabinet positions to Jonas and Mentor by the Gupta family.
– whether the appointment of any member of the national executive was disclosed to the Gupta family or any other unauthorised person before being made; and if so‚ whether the president is responsible for such conduct;
– whether the president or any member of the executive‚ public official violated the Constitution or any relevant ethical code by facilitating unlawful awarding of tenders by SOEs or any organ of state to benefit the Gupta family or any other family or individual.
– the nature and extent of corruption‚ if any‚ in the awarding of contracts‚ tenders to companies‚ business entities or organisations by public entities listed under Schedule 2 of the Public Finance Management Act of 1999.
– whether there were any irregularities‚ undue enrichment‚ corruption and undue influence in the awarding of contracts‚ mining licences‚ government advertising in the New Age newspaper and any other government services in the business dealings of the Gupta family with government departments and SOEs.
– whether any member of the national executive including deputy ministers unlawfully intervened in the matter of the closing of banking facilities for Gupta-owned companies.
– whether any advisers in the Ministry of Finance were appointed without proper procedures. In particular and as alleged to the Public Protector‚ whether two senior advisers who were appointed by Minister Des Van Rooyen to the National Treasury were so appointed without following proper procedures.
– the nature and extent of corruption in the awarding of contracts and tenders to companies‚ business entities or organisations by government departments‚ agencies and entities. In particular‚ whether any member of the executive‚ 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.
Zuma proclaimed that these terms of reference may be added to‚ varied or amended from time to time. He further gazetted that all organs of state will be required to cooperate full with the commission.