Prosecutors given access to Zondo information
President Cyril Ramaphosa amended the regulations of the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture yesterday, to make it possible for law enforcement agencies to access the information and evidence obtained by the inquiry’s investigators.
Business Day notes the amendment is intended to enhance the work of investigators and prosecutors and speed up the process of prosecutions of those involved in corruption during the Jacob Zuma administration.
Commission staff were, until now, bound to secrecy and prohibited from sharing the information they obtained in the course of their work, even with law enforcement agencies. The regulations now allow information, records or documents to be shared with any state law enforcement agency.
The report notes that while there was initially sympathy for the mammoth task of prosecuting cases related to state capture, public sentiment has shifted as South Africans become increasingly impatient and frustrated at the failure of the NPA to put high-profile politicians in the dock.
The amendment itself has taken inexplicably long to formulate and has been more than year in the making, says the report, but notes that in another win for law enforcement agencies, the amended regulations provide that people who have done work for the commission will not be precluded from doing work for any of the law enforcement agencies on a consultancy basis, or be precluded, after starting work for these agencies, from using or disclosing information, records or documents obtained during the course of employment at the commission.
This is especially significant, observes Business Day, as law enforcement agencies were hollowed out during the years of state capture, and have struggled with capacity constraints.
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