The first witness in the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture is expected to give testimony on Tuesday.
National Treasury Chief Procurement officer Ndleleni Mathebula has been announced as the first witness. Mathebula is expected to give evidence on procurement processes, and if there were flouted in the department.
The commission officially kicked off on Monday and has been hearing a presentation on the reports which have been submitted as part of the inquiry in Parktown, Johannesburg.
Commission Chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo adjourned the proceedings. Before that, Advocate Thandi Norman, a member of the commission, addressed Judge Zondo about the reports which have been submitted as part of the inquiry.
The Commission was set up following recommendations in former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela‘s State of Capture report released in 2016.
Various reports including Madonsela’s report as well as Parliament’s report are among the submissions made to the commission.
Earlier, the commission’s evidence leader, Advocate Paul Pretorius, said the probe could go well beyond corruption alone. The commission is investigating, among other matters, whether the Gupta family had undue influence in senior appointments in government and state-owned enterprises.
“Corruption may be part of state capture, but it is more than that. State capture, at least in theory, would, if proven, concern a network of relationships, both inside and outside government and its objective would be to ensure the repurposing of government departments, officials and state-owned entities, all for private and elicit gain.”
Zondo says they had several challenges in finalising investigations, particularly in getting co-operation from government departments. He says in some instances, they have had to ask for the interventions of ministers to speed up the process.
Meanwhile, the lawyers for some of those implicated in state capture have requested more time to prepare for cross examination.
The legal teams say some were only given submissions by key witnesses as late as last Friday. The first witnesses are set to take the stand later this week.
The legal representatives of Ajay Gupta, as well as former President Jacob Zuma, are among those who have made the request for more time.