The hard copy of the first instalment of the much-anticipated State Capture Commission report was publicly handed over to President Ramaphosa on Tuesday 4 January, following the handover of a digital version by the legal deadline of 31 December.
OUTA believes this is a momentous occasion for law-abiding citizens of South Africa to celebrate.
“Despite the fact that we have already experienced years of hearing evidence and exposés of ever-worsening scenarios of state capture and grand looting, we are pleased the State Capture Commissioner has finally produced this report, which is a formal account and assessment of what took place, who was involved and provides recommendations as to what should happen going forward,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA CEO.
This is what South Africa has been waiting for and now it’s over to the law enforcement agencies to deal with the reams of content contained in the report.
South Africans desperately want to see those who transgressed the laws or were involved in State Capture held to account and as much as possible of the money stolen recovered by the State.
“There should be no room to hide anymore,” says Duvenage, in a reference to OUTA’s submission to Parliament in June 2017, in which OUTA motivated for action by Parliament against state capture perpetrators.
The Commission’s important report provides clear directions on who should be investigated with a view to prosecution – both perpetrators and those in positions of authority who allowed criminal activity to go ahead on their watch – losses to be recovered, laws to be updated and recommendations for the appointment of board members and improved oversight.
It found unequivocally that state capture exists.
It is a savage indictment not just of criminal behaviour but also of the failures of those responsible for oversight.
OUTA has called on law enforcement investigators and prosecutors not to wait for the President to submit the report to Parliament, but to get to work immediately, with a view to prosecuting wrongdoers and reclaiming stolen funds.
The unpacking and use of information provided in the report will no doubt be met with resistance from the many perpetrators, however, we believe the rule of law will prevail.
The Commission’s enormous archive of information – including millions of pages of documentary evidence – should provide sufficient evidence for the clean-up ahead and guide the development of new processes for both preventing and tackling the abuse of state funds going forward.
Cabinet should now also be tasked to find and approve more resources to ensure that that the Special Investigating Unit, the National Prosecuting Authority, the courts, the Asset Forfeiture Unit and SARS are up to the task that lies ahead for them.