Zuma cannot be judge and jury in state capture probe – EFF
TMG Digital | 2017-06-01 14:05:25.0
EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi. File photo
Image by: Brian Witbooi/The Herald
The Economic Freedom Fighters’ Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says the party rejects any Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture appointed solely by President Jacob Zuma.
“In keeping with the recommendations of the Public Protector‚ a Judicial Commission of Inquiry that will be investigating Zuma cannot at the same time be solely appointed by Zuma. This will result in a conflict of interests‚ in that it violates basic principle of fair justice‚” he said in a statement on Thursday.
“Judicial Commissions of Inquiry get to be appointed solely by a president‚ who has the power to set the scope of the inquiry and its limits.
In a situation where Zuma must be the subject of such an inquiry‚ his constitutional powers and prerogatives to appoint the judge cannot be elevated above the principles of fair justice. In our constitutional order‚ the separated powers of the executive do not extend to violation of the principles of fair justice.
Otherwise‚ the idea that the commission is in pursuit of justice will be a mockery.” The Public Protector recommendations are that a judge who must preside over the commission inquiring into the President’s conduct and that of others members of his cabinet must be selected and recommended by the Chief Justice.
The scope of this inquiry must also take the Public Protector’s report as a point of departure with the powers of evidence collection that are no less that those of the Protector‚ the EFF said. In addition‚ the judge must appoint his or her own staff.
“This is the only way that such a Commission can have integrity and public trust‚” the opposition party said. Meanwhile‚ the Office of the African National Congress Chief Whip in Parliament‚ Jackson Mthembu‚ issued a statement noting media reports that 90 ANC Members of Parliament visited and submitted a complaint to the Public Protector requesting an investigation into state capture which will include financial institutions as well as the National Treasury.
“The ANC Chief Whip met with the five ANC MPs who submitted this complaint to the Public Protector to get clarity on their visit and submission. The comrades clarified that they acted in their individual capacities and not as representatives of the ANC Parliamentary Caucus and that whatever they submitted are their own views.
We are therefore not aware of any other MPs except the five who went to make a submission to the Public Protector‚” the ANC statement read.
“As the ANC Caucus‚ we take guidance from the National Executive Committee of the ANC which has directed that a Judicial Commission of Enquiry into allegations of state capture be established without delay.
The NEC further stated that the terms of reference of such a Commission of Enquiry must be broad enough to uncover the influence of business on the state.
The also NEC expressed its desire to see all processes of reviewing the Public Protector’s State of Capture report accelerated so that they are not an obstacle to the speedy establishment of the Judicial Commission into State Capture.
“This remains the position of the ANC Parliamentary Caucus until directed otherwise by the National Executive Committee of the ANC.”