Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, the chairperson of the inquiry into state capture, says an investigation will be conducted to establish who was responsible for leaking the statements of witnesses who are yet to testify before the commission.
“Since the commencement of the public hearings of the commission in August 2018, various sections of the media have disseminated and published contents of witnesses’ statements submitted to the commission in connection with the inquiry of the commission before the witnesses give evidence before the commission and without the written permission of the chairperson,” Zondo said in a statement on Thursday night.
It comes after the media reported on public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan’s leaked statement, in which he informed Zondo about the Public Protector’s investigation, saying this was part of the “misuse and abuse of public powers for suspicious objectives”.
Business Day reported this week that Gordhan had been subpoenaed to appear before Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane next week.
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The investigation relates to the early-retirement package offered to former SA Revenue Service (Sars) deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay in 2010.
In his statement, Gordhan said the complaint against him was lodged on November 18 2016 by Lebogang Hoveka, then a speechwriter in former president Jacob Zuma’s office.
Zondo said: “An investigation is to be conducted to try and establish the people responsible for the leaks of witnesses statements.”
Citing regulations governing the commission, Zondo said it was a criminal offence for anyone, including the media, to disseminate or publish, without the written permission of the chairperson.
“I urge the media and everyone to observe Regulation 11(3) and desist from disseminating or publishing witnesses’ statements or portions thereof before the witnesses have given evidence at a hearing of the commission unless the chairperson’s written permission has been obtained,” Zondo said.