The Zondo Commission on Investigation of State Capture’s regulations may be amended to allow the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to use evidence before the commission in criminal prosecutions.
That was Ronald Lamola, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services’ answer to the parliamentary question by Dr. Leon Schreiber, DA MP, on what the government’s position is on the immediate prosecution of people following testimony before the commission, instead of waiting until the commission has completed its operations.
Schreiber also wanted to know from Lamola whether anyone had been arrested or charged with state hijacking for alleged involvement in or complicity in state hijacking.
amola said that for the NPA, criminal investigations and the consideration of prosecution are a parallel process that does not depend on the completion of the commission’s activities.
“There were some hitches with regard to this part of the evidence, but the NPA is trying to resolve it.
“It is also considering amending the regulations of the Zondo Commission to enable the sharing of information between the commission and the NPA’s investigative directorate.”
According to Lamola, the NPA will welcome preliminary reports from the commission so that the directorate can assess the relevance of the evidence to its investigations.
Lamola added that several investigations were in progress and that there were cases already being considered by the NPA for prosecution.
He referred to, among others, Angela Agrizzi, former chief of Bosasa, and others prosecuted over the Bosasa saga, as well as former heads of Eskom and former police and NPA big heads who are also being prosecuted for corruption.
Lamola’s answer to Schreiber comes after Adv. Hermione Cronje, head of the investigative directorate, recently told parliament it is not true that nothing is going on with high-profile corruption and state hijacking cases. She also confirmed that several of the cases were already before the courts.
Cronje told the Justice and Correctional Services Portfolio Committee that “two court cases arising from testimony previously provided before the Zondo State Investigation Commission will also be placed on the court role as soon as the state’s restriction regulations allow” .
According to Cronje, the NPA has already obtained the necessary cooperation from the United Arab Emirates in the Estina case, involving the Gupta brothers. The Guptas currently reside in Dubai.
She also told MPs that the NPA’s strategy is not only to prosecute minor suspects in high-profile corruption cases, but also the top minds behind it, while stolen money will also be recovered.
Earlier it was reported that the Zondo Commission plans to resume its operations by June 15.