Madonsela's 'state capture' report expresses #Nenegate concerns

By Drum Digital
02 November 2016

Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report expresses concerns about the Gupta family’s involvement in the removal of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.

In her much-awaited "state capture" report, she said President Jacob Zuma was required to select and appoint ministers lawfully and in compliance with the executive ethics code.

"It is worrying that the Gupta family was aware or may have been aware that Minister Nene was removed 6 weeks after Deputy [Finance] Minister Mcebisi Jonas advised him that he had been allegedly offered a job by the Gupta family in exchange for extending favours to their family business," she said.

She found it equally worrying that Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen, who briefly replaced Nene, could be placed in the Saxonwold area on at least seven occasions.

This included on the day before he was appointed as finance minister.

"This looks anomalous, given that at the time he was a Member of Parliament based in Cape Town," she said.

"Another worrying coincidence is that Minister Nene was removed after Mr Jonas advised him that he was going to be removed."

Violation of executive ethics code

She said that if the Gupta family knew about the intended appointment, it would appear that the information was shared in violation of the executive ethics code.

One provision of this code prohibited a member from acting in a way that was inconsistent with their position.

She said there might even be a violation of a provision that prohibited the member from using information received in confidence for anything other than in discharging their duties.

Jonas alleged that the offer for a position of minister was linked to him being required to extend favours to the Gupta family.

"Failure to verify such allegation may infringe the provisions of Section 34 of Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 12 of 2004 which places a duty on persons in positions of authority who knows or ought reasonably to have known or suspected that any other person has committed an offence under the Act must report such knowledge or suspicion or cause such knowledge or suspicion to be reported to any police official."

Zuma must appoint judicial commission

Madonsela instructed President Jacob Zuma to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture within 30 days, as the main remedial action.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng should decide which judge would head the commission.

The commission of inquiry had to present the report with findings and recommendations to Zuma within 180 days.

Zuma had to submit a copy with an indication of his intentions regarding the implementation to Parliament within 14 days of releasing the report.

Madonsela’s 355-page report was released on Wednesday afternoon.

The full title is the: "State of Capture: Report on an investigation into alleged improper and unethical conduct by the President and other state functionaries relating to alleged improper relationships and involvement of the Gupta family in the removal and appointment of Ministers and Directors of State-Owned Enterprises resulting in improper and possibly corrupt award of state contracts and benefits to the Gupta family’s businesses."

Source: News24

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