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NPA not reliant on Zondo commission to investigate state capture allegations – Lamola

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola

  • Several investigations are currently under way, says Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola.
  • Challenges around sharing of evidence between the commission and the NPA are being addressed.
  • Several high-profile state capture cases are already in court.

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola says the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is not reliant on the completion of the Zondo commission’s work to go ahead with state capture investigations and prosecutions.

This, after DA MP Leon Schreiber asked Lamola in a written Parliamentary question what the government’s position was on immediately prosecuting people based on information revealed in the state capture commission of inquiry, instead of waiting for the commission to conclude.

He also asked whether anyone had been arrested or charged for allegedly abetting and/or being involved in criminal acts of state capture based on revelations made before the commission.

Lamola’s response read: “The National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) position is that criminal investigations and consideration for prosecution is a parallel process and is not reliant on the completion of the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture.”

Lamola also said there were some challenges regarding the sharing of evidence, which the NPA was trying to address.

“There are considerations to amend the regulations of the state capture commission to facilitate the sharing of information between the commission and the independent directorate.

“The NPA would welcome interim reports from the commission so that the Investigating Directorate (ID) would be able to assess the evidence, relevant to ID investigations, that has been collected by the Commission,” he added.

The national lockdown to combat the spread of the coronavirus has placed a hold on the proceedings of the commission.

According to City Press, commission chairperson deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo said while the staff may return to work on 15 June, public hearings could only resume at the “end of June or beginning of July”.

Cases before court

Lamola said several investigations are currently under way and there are matters under consideration for prosecution.

The case involving former Bosasa boss Angelo Agrizzi and the company’s former chief financial officer Andries van Tonder is one of the state capture cases before court.

News24 reported that Agrizzi has been slapped with a letter of demand for R91 million by the team of liquidators managing the winding up of the corruption-accused Bosasa group.

Van Tonder, who together with Agrizzi gave evidence before the Zondo commission last year, has also been hit with a letter of demand for R21 million.

Lamola also said the former national commissioner of correctional services, Linda Mti, and Patrick Gillingham, former chief financial officer of the Department of Correctional Services, were arrested and charged with corruption, money laundering and fraud related to tender contracts in February 2019.

Turning to state-owned entities, Lamola said former Eskom executives Abram Masango and France Hlakudi, as well as their co-accused, were arrested and appeared in court in December 2019.

The accused were released on R300 000 bail each after being arrested by the Hawks on suspicion of fraud, corruption and money laundering related to the construction of the Kusile power station in Mpumalanga.

According to Lamola’s written answer they appeared in May, but it’s still unclear when the next appearance would be.

There are also several cases involving senior police officers accused of corruption on the NPA’s radar, said Lamola.

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