JOHANNESBURG – The Public Protector’s office has moved to clarify its response to the judicial inquiry into state capture.
Last week, President Jacob Zuma announced a commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture.
The terms of reference for the inquiry have yet to be made public.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane ruffled feathers when she called on Zuma not to limit the inquiry's terms of reference to issues identified in the report of her predecessor, Thuli Madonsela.
Mkhwebane called on Zuma to ensure the terms of reference were broad enough to include the capture of all state institutions and state-owned entities (SOEs).
She requested that Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who will head the inquiry, be given the power to expand the issues to be investigates, and volunteered her services to help compile the inquiry's terms of reference, if necessary.
However, Mkhwebane’s office has now denied that she wants apartheid-era corruption included in the probe.
“There is nowhere where I indicated how far back the commission must start doing their investigation,” Mkhwebane said.
“Nowhere in my statement did I mention the year, whether 1994 or 1998 or 1652.”
Mkhwebane said that allegations contained in the Gupta leaks emails, which implicate a number of prominent individuals and politicians, should be investigated.
“I received further complaints after the Gupta leaks story and those complaints are still related to the issues which are in the State of Capture Report,” she said.
“Therefore I also wanted those issues to be investigated by the commission because the commission will focus on all these matters and they are related.”