Transcripts from Moerane Commission won't be made public yet - chairperson

2018-04-23 17:33
Advocate Marumo Moerane, chair of the Moerane Commission of Inquiry visits the Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi to assess and gather evidence on political killings around KwaZulu-Natal. (Siyanda Mayeza, Gallo Images, file)

Advocate Marumo Moerane, chair of the Moerane Commission of Inquiry visits the Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi to assess and gather evidence on political killings around KwaZulu-Natal. (Siyanda Mayeza, Gallo Images, file)

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The Moerane Commission, which is looking into political killings in KwaZulu-Natal, says that transcripts from the commission have not been made public because key witnesses could be compromised.

"The transcripts are still embargoed because there are a number of witnesses whose identities should not be revealed," commission chairperson Marumo Moerane told News24 on Monday.

Moerane said the final decision on the release of transcripts would be left to Premier Willies Mchunu once he had received the report.

READ: ANC candidate councillor warned not to go out on the day of her murder - Moerane Commission hears

When asked if the transcripts could be released with witness names censored, Moerane said this was a possibility at a later stage.

"That would involve a certain process, where their names are blacked out. Somebody would have to do that. At the moment, I am writing the report and devoting all my energy to getting this out as soon as possible."

Transparency

Moerane's comments come following a statement by the Right to Know Campaign (R2K) that said it was "disturbed to learn that the Moerane Commission of Inquiry refused to release its transcripts to the public and to the media.

"We demand transparency in all issues pertaining to the Moerane Commission of Inquiry, especially in accessing transcripts and ultimately the report of the Commission."

READ: 'Illegal money' makes it easy to pay hitmen, Moerane Commission hears

Mchunu established the Moerane Commission of Inquiry late in 2016 by to investigate the underlying causes of political killings in the province.

While the hearings have concluded, the commission’s report still has to be released.

R2K said it was particularly concerned that journalists were denied access to transcripts.

"This is an aberration to the founding values of South Africa's constitutional democracy which is founded on accountability, transparency and responsiveness."

R2K said it rejected the claim that transcripts had been withheld to protect witnesses.

"It is the right of the citizens of this country to be privy to such records and that right should be upheld by all institutions and structures of this country. We also remind the Moerane Commission that the hearings were funded by the public, pertaining to issues of great importance to the public."

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Read more on:    marumo moerane  |  durban  |  political killings  |  crime

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