Task force to help probe, prosecute state capture suspects

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has created a task force dedicated to managing its response to the findings arising from the state capture commission, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

The NPA affirmed that the task force will focus on ensuring a coordinated response to the work to be undertaken, as well as to examine the resources that will aid in accelerating the investigation and prosecution processes. Established in January, the task force came as a response to the matters that arose from the commission and the subsequent release of part one of its report.

In a joint statement with the directorate for priority crime investigation, the NPA said: “The task force’s main focus is on progress and impact. It builds on the work already done within the NPA over the past few years, in collaboration with the Zondo Commission and other law-enforcement partners.

“The NPA and … directorate for priority crime investigation [DPCI] are systematically reviewing the commission’s findings and recommendations with a view to investigating and building cases for criminal prosecution against those who broke the law, be they from the public or private sectors. This will include, where appropriate, the freezing and forfeiture of the proceeds of crimes.”

The prosecutorial and investigative institutions recommitted efforts to bring those who profited from state capture to book.

“We are under no illusions about the enormity of the task at hand and the challenges that we face but we give you, the people of South Africa, our commitment, that guided by the evidence and the values enshrined in our constitution, we will not rest until the rule of law once again lights our way in South Africa.”

The task force, chaired by advocate Rodney de Kock who is the deputy national director of public prosecutions (DNDPP) incorporates the DNDPP responsible for the asset forfeiture unit (AFU) and the legal affairs division.

It also includes “the investigating director [ID], sector heads, the head of investigations and the head of operations from the ID; the special director and the head of investigations from the AFU; the special director of the special commercial crime unit [SCCU]; deputy directors of public prosecutions or regional heads of the SCCU from those divisions where matters have arisen; the national co-coordinators of the organised crime, the tax and the operations management component; and the official responsible for the monitoring of anti-corruption task team and priority corruption statistics.”

The task force, which meets twice a month, also includes the legal advisor in the office of the national director responsible for research and legal support; and a representative from strategy, operations, and compliance who can second relevant colleagues from strategy management office and human resources management and development as required.

The statement reads further: “While the ID has been tasked to take the lead in investigating and prosecuting the matters, the DPCI and the divisions are supporting in the investigation and prosecution of matters not dealt with by the ID, or are bolstering the capacity of the ID.

“A team approach to tackle matters has been adopted. The AFU is also involved to ensure that the proceeds of crime are seized.”

The NPA added that the ID and DPCI have matched the implicated individuals and entities have either been matched to existing or new cases that still needed to be filed.

“The aim is to have a common complete list of cases which can be monitored and prioritised.”

De Kock said: “As the National Prosecuting Authority ramps up the prosecution of those implicated in state capture, our actions must be seen to be independent of any external influence. We must do everything within our power to ensure that investigations are finalised and prosecutions are instituted.

“We must prosecute without fear or favour to realise our vision of justice in our society so that people can live in freedom and security.”

Also read: NPA forms State Capture commission task force

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