What is a commission of inquiry?

In order to understand the complexities of the Zondo Commission, it is very important to also understand what a commission of inquiry is, its origins in this country, and what level of authority it has. This opinion piece, first published in City Press in November 2016, provides this information under the title Do commissions of inquiry have teeth?.

The short voice note discussions answer the following questions:

  1. Under what circumstances would a commission of inquiry need to be established? English / isiZulu / Setswana
  2. Does the South African criminal justice system have adequate power to prosecute  and convict on corruption-related crimes? If they did have sufficient powers, wouldn’t it prevent the need for establishing commissions of inquiry? English / isiZulu / Setswana
  3. What authorities/powers do commissions of inquiries have? English / isiZulu / Setswana
  4. What should we as South Africans hope for the Zondo Commission to achieve? English / isiZulu / Setswana

21 August 2018

The National Treasury’s acting chief procurement officer, Ndleleni Mathebula, unpacked the inner workings of government’s massive procurement system.

Ndleleni Mathebula

22 and 23 August 2018

The commission is on recess for two days until Friday, 24 August 2018.

24 August 2018

Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas delivered extraordinary testimony of how he was approached by a member of the Gupta family and offered a bribe of R600-million to take over as finance minister and work according to the Guptas’ agenda.

Mcebisi Jonas

Jonas’ full testimony

Video clip 1 / video clip 2

27 and 28 August 2018

Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor started her testimony by providing context to her early meetings with the Guptas and former president Jacob Zuma. On day two she gave details of a meeting at the Gupta home in Saxonwold, at which Jacob Zuma was present, as well as an indication of the lack of interest from ANC leadership at her concerns expressed in this regard.

Vytjie Mentor part 1  | Vytjie Mentor part 2

Mentor has a strongly supportive family who travelled long distances to be with her as she testified. We spoke to her sister to find out what makes this brave woman tick.

Vytjie Mentor through her sister’s eyes

Vytjie Mentor

28 and 29 August 2018

In his testimony, former GCIS head Themba Maseko echoed Jonas and Mentor in questioning the conduct of the Hawks.

Themba Maseko part 1  |  Themba Maseko part 2  |  Themba Maseko part 3

30 August 2018 – CASAC to oppose extension

CASAC intends to oppose the extension of the commission’s period of operation. Read the organisation’s rationale here.

31 August and 3 September 2018

Acting director-general of the government communication and information system, Phumla Williams, testified that former communications minister Faith Muthambi damaged the organisation to an extent that it will take some time to recover from.

Phumla Williams part 1  |  Phumla Williams part 2