In his State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the Investigating Directorate (ID) will this year be established as a permanent entity within the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

This move is part of the plan to ensure that the State Capture Commission’s recommendations are implemented effectively. The ID was established by a Presidential proclamation in March 2019, specifically to investigate corruption-related crimes unearthed by that commission, and the commissions into the South African Revenue Service and Public Investigation Corporation.

During his speech, the President spoke about the role of the ID in following up on the State Capture Commission’s recommendations thus far. For example, he mentioned that the ID has taken 187 accused people to court in 32 state capture and corruption cases. Furthermore, over R7 billion has so far been returned to the state from state capture cases and R12.9 billion in funds and assets have been frozen. “Our reinvigorated law enforcement agencies are taking firm action against companies and individuals alleged to have been involved in state capture,” the President said.

He also expressed his gratitude to Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who led the State Capture Commission, which submitted the final part of its report in June last year. The President re-emphasised that the country will take decisive action against corruption and make a clear break with the era of state capture. “As a country, we owe Chief Justice Zondo, the Commission staff and all those who provided testimony a huge debt of gratitude for their extraordinary public service.”

The President assured the nation that the recommendations of the commission are being implemented according to the plan he submitted to Parliament in October 2022 so that the systemic weaknesses identified by the commission are addressed and state capture is never allowed to occur again.

The President said the National Anti-Corruption Advisory Council, consisting of people from across society, is in place to advise on suitable mechanisms to stem corruption, including an overhaul the institutional architecture for combatting corruption. The President also addressed concerns about the safety of whistle-blowers by saying that the government is working to capacitate the Witness Protection Unit and will introduce amendments to the Protected Disclosures Act and Witness Protection Act to strengthen protections for whistle-blowers.

“Work is already underway to improve access to the witness protection programme for public servants that expose maladministration, corruption and unethical conduct. We will finalise the draft Public Procurement Bill to address weaknesses identified by the State Capture Commission and improve efficiency, value for money and transparency. Our reinvigorated law enforcement agencies are taking firm action against companies and individuals alleged to have been involved in state capture.”

Rajaa Azzakani
13 February 2023