Johannesburg - Part 1 of the 865-word state capture report released by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday night, has made adverse findings following corruption and maladministration that gripped various state-owned entities such as SAA.
Some of the findings include the fact that: “SAA declined during the tenure of (former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni) to an entity racked by corruption and fraud.”
Zondo said despite poor governance at the national carrier, Myeni was retained as its (SAA) Chairperson “well beyond the point at which she should have been removed”.
He said: “President Zuma fled the commission because he knew there were questions that would be put to him which he would not have been able to answer. He could not have justified his insistence that Ms Myeni is retained.”
Zondo also said: “Those responsible for governance at SAA, SAAT (South African Airways Technical) and SA Express displayed a wanton disregard for these standards. Rather than acting in the entities’ best interests, they were motivated by their own personal interest.”
Read the full report: Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture Report: Part 1
On the Gupta-owned Newspaper, the New Age and its dealings with government entities, the report states that “the evidence before the commission paints a picture of a calculated strategy by the Guptas to appropriate public funds from state-owned enterprises.”
In the report, Zondo said it was one of the ways that the Guptas were able to infiltrate the system was to, among other things, “have facilitators within the SOEs and government departments, such as GCIS (Government Communication and Information System), who would ensure that the entities committed millions of rand to the TNA despite there being no discernible value for the entities or government departments.”
He said: “One of the earliest acts of state capture by the Guptas was to secure the removal of Mr Themba Maseko from GCIS. The influence they exerted over former President Zuma was considerable.”
Zondo said the Guptas and their associates “managed to ensure that a well-performing and principled public servant was removed at lightning speed when he refused to accede to their demands to divert millions of rand of public money to enrich their media business.”
Meanwhile, delving into the events that gripped Sars, Zondo said: “What occurred at SARS was inevitable the moment Mr Moyane (Former South African Revenue Service commissioner) set foot there. He dismantled the elements of governance one by one. This was more than mere mismanagement. It was seizing control of Sars as if it was his to have.”
He said: “The Sars evidence is a clear example of how the private sector colluded with the executive, including President Zuma, to capture an institution that was highly regarded internationally and render it ineffective.”
He said: “Sars was systemically and deliberately weakened, chiefly through the restructuring of its institutional capacity, strategic appointments and dismissals of key individuals, and a pervasive culture of fear and bullying. It is a clear example of state capture.”
He recommended that Moyane be charged with perjury in relation to his false evidence to Parliament.
Some of the 10 recommendations the commission made to Ramaphosa with respect to public procurement in SA include:
• The government, in consultation with the business sector prepare and publish a national charter against corruption in public procurement, such charter to include a code of conduct setting out the ethical standards which apply in the procurement of goods and services for the public.
• The establishment of an independent agency against corruption in public procurement. That the government introduced legislation for the establishment of an independent Public Procurement Anti-Corruption Agency.
• The commission recommends that set standards of transparency consistent with the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) principles for integrity in public procurement be formulated by the National Treasury for compulsory inclusion in every procurement system adopted by a public procurement entity.
• Suggested amendment of the Political Party Funding Act No 6. It is recommended that the act be amended to criminalise the making of donations to political parties in the expectation of or with a view to the grant of procurement tenders or contracts as a reward for or in the recognition of such grants having been made.
• In order to strengthen the duty of private sector entities to put in place measures against bribery it is recommended that PRECCA (Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities) be amended by the introduction.
• The commission recommends that set standards of transparency consistent with the OECD principles for integrity in public procurement be formulated by National Treasury for compulsory inclusion in every procurement system adopted by a public procurement entity.
• The creation of a procurement officer’s profession. It is recommended that consideration is given to enacting legislation that will establish a professional body to which all officials who work in the area of public procurement should belong.