Nothing sinister about delay in State Capture terms: Masutha

WEB_PHOTO_Michael_Masutha_110614

Michael Masutha is the Justice and Correctional Services Minister.

Michael Masutha is the Justice and Correctional Services Minister.

WEB_PHOTO_Michael_Masutha_110614

Michael Masutha is the Justice and Correctional Services Minister.

Michael Masutha is the Justice and Correctional Services Minister.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on Wednesday released a statement regarding the terms of reference of the state capture inquiry.

The department, in a media release, said that "it is currently processing the publication of the terms of reference in the government gazette." 

It said that its "legal team started the process of drafting the terms of reference which were eventually signed by the President on 23 January 2018. The signed terms of reference are in the process of being translated into another official language as per the legal requirement.

"The publication is scheduled for release on 25 January 2018."

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The department said that this would "be followed by the release of the regulations which give the Commission the legal competence to conduct the investigation.

"This includes the power of the Chairperson to subpoena witnesses and of search and seizure."

It noted that the department would assist the chairperson with all infrastructure and resource requirements necessary for it to function efficiently and effectively.

Earlier, Justice and Correctional Services Minister, Michael Masutha, said there was nothing sinister about the delay and he was not under pressure to release the terms of reference.

Masutha said, "The Chief Justice was simple indicating his readiness to proceed, but also to clarify and confirm that he has accepted responsibility for chairing the commission, and confirming that there has been interaction between our offices - the presidency and the department of justice and his office - in terms of putting together all administrative processes which are quite huge to give life to this commission.

"For example he alluded to having been engaged on the draft regulations which are also finalised and need to be promulgated in order to determine the mechanical framework within which the commission will be operating."

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Masutha said President Zuma wanted the proces expedited. He said, "I can confirm that the President has long been asking us to expedite the process .

"There has been backward and forward between the legal teams on the Justice side and on the presidency&39;s side to settle the terms of reference as a legal instrument.

"But that was mainly looking at the technical soundness thereof. So the delay can for themost part be attributed to that."