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Public Protector says Zuma must appoint a commission of inquiry

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Thuli Madonsela’s outgoing report on her investigation into complaints of state capture and undue political influence by the Gupta family recommends that President Jacob Zuma appoint a judicial commission of inquiry.

This commission must be headed by a judge solely selected by the Chief Justice‚ Mogoeng Mogoeng‚ the Public Protector report states.

The report was made public on Wednesday afternoon after Zuma unexpectedly withdrew his application to interdict the report. The high court in Pretoria then ruled it should be published today.

Madonsela states: “The investigation has proven that the extent of issues it needs to traverse and resources necessary to execute it is incapable of being executed fully by the Public Protector. This was foreshadowed at the commencement of the investigation when the Public Protector wrote to government requesting for resources for a special investigation similar to a commission of inquiry overseen by the Public Protector.

“This investigation has been hamstrung by the late release which caused the investigation to commence later than planned. The situation was compounded by the inadequacy of the allocated funds (R1.5 million).”

The commission of inquiry should be given powers of evidence collection that are no less than that of the Public Protector.

Its report with findings and recommendations should be presented to the President within 180 days. “The President shall submit a copy with an indication of his/her intentions regarding the implementation to Parliament within 14 days of releasing the report.”

Parliament was mandated to review‚ within 180 days‚ the Executive Members’ Ethics Act “to provide better guidance regarding integrity‚ including avoidance and management of conflict of interest. This should clearly define responsibilities of those in authority regarding a proper response to whistleblowing and whistleblowers. Consideration should also be given to a transversal code of conduct for all employees of the State.”

She also ruled that the Secretary of Parliament and the Director General in the Presidency are to provide periodic implementation reports to the Public Protector’s office.

[Source: Times Live]
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