A Team Is Working On Implementing The Zondo Commission’s Findings, Plan Will Be Presented At The “Appropriate Time”Justice Minister Ronald Lamola Said.
The Department of Justice has a team working on implementing the findings of the Zondo Commission, Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola told the Parliament on Tuesday morning.
However, this plan will be presented at the “… appropriate time, to enable us to respond appropriately to the corruption cancer,” Lamola told the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services.
He was presenting a political overview before the committee was scheduled to take a closer look at the department and its entities’ budgets.
The fourth part of the commission’s report was published on Friday.
As before, there are numerous recommendations that people – many of them Lamola’s comrades in the ANC – should be investigated for prosecution.
Lamola thanked Chief Justice Raymond Zondo for his “sterling job” at the commission as the inquiry draws to a close.
We are in full flight in the rebuilding processes of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
He said they are, as far as possible, directing critical resources to the NPA to ensure that it has the human capital and financial resources to respond to the many crimes which afflict communities, despite a challenging fiscal environment.
“For instance, it is quite evident that our biggest challenges as a nation at the moment, are the supply of stable and reliable electricity and the provision of reliable passenger rail transport. While the challenges at Eskom and Prasa are well documented, one of the most obvious factors is cable theft.
“One of the indicators we will be monitoring closely in the NPA’s performance plan is that of cable theft convictions. This is an act of economic sabotage, now more than ever, the masterminds of those who benefit from plunging communities into darkness and train stoppages must be exposed and the arm of the law must catch up them.”
He said a “new injection of resources” must enable the NPA to combat organised crime, white-collar crime, and corruption.
In the past year, there has been progress we can mention without any hesitation. The foundation of the Investigating Directorate was established by a highly skilled black woman in Advocate Hermione Cronje and the transition from her to another highly skilled black woman in Advocate Andrea Johnson has been seamless.
He thanked Cronje for her service and welcomed Johnson into her new role, “… which is difficult and challenging, but we do believe she is equal to the task”.
The Investigative Directorate has declared 82 investigations and enrolled 20 cases with 65 people standing accused.
It has also prioritised nine corruption matters for enrollment within the next six months.
“In their own words, Advocate Shamila Bathoi and her Deputy Anton du Plessis, have said that we are nearing a moment of high-level prosecutions being executed without fear or favour. We shouldn’t second guess them, they are better placed than all of us to tell no lies and claim no easy victories. We do believe they will be able to discharge their responsibilities as enshrined in the NPA act.”
Lamola said the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is also proving to be a significant agent in the fight against corruption and maladministration.
“As it also prepares to mark 25 years of its existence, there is objective proof that it is a vital cog in our accountability and consequence management framework as a state.”
He said the SIU had enrolled cases worth billions of rands to the Special Tribunal and High Court.
The cooperation between the SIU and other law enforcement agencies such as the NPA and Hawks is also being strengthened.
“Honourable Members, over and above all this work, in these plans, we are also mindful of the imminent and the already released Zondo Commission reports. Special Commercial Crimes Courts have been established in every province and the one in Palmridge and Pretoria have been expanded to enable them to cope with the work that might come their way,” Lamola said.
“Consultations are under way with internal stakeholders to ensure that the review of South Africa’s anti-corruption architecture is a collective product. This review envisages an incremental approach with immediate action to short-term, medium-term, and long-term proposals.”