Here come the big guns
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has named a powerful team as part of his state capture inquiry
When Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo announced that former auditor general Terrence Nombembe would head the investigating team in the commission of inquiry into state capture, you knew he meant business.
Nombembe is one of six key appointments of powerhouses who will lead the mammoth task of investigating state capture by Justice Zondo’s commission.
Zondo told the media on Wednesday that the investigating team would begin their work in earnest before the hearings are held.
Nombembe served as auditor general until 2013 and, despite his calm and unassuming character, he is known for his astute auditing skills and passion for good governance.
When it comes to the intricacies of the machine that is a government department, there are few likely to know the system better.Nombembe proved during his tenure as auditor general that he believed in integrity in the public sector and his reports were sharp clawed.
The qualified chartered accountant is currently the CEO of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants and will head up the team of investigators into state capture.
Zondo would not announce the names of other investigators on the team for security reasons except to say it would be multi- disciplinary.
The state capture commission’s legal team is to be headed up by Advocate Paul Pretorious who has over 40 years of legal experience and has been an acting judge in many courts.
Pretorious is a general commercial litigator and is a member of the South African Law Commission working group on arbitration, alternative dispute resolution and mediation.
Zondo told journalists that Pretorious will lead evidence in the commission alongside other lawyers who would be part of the legal team.
Among them is Advocate Vincent Maleka who is an experienced lawyer with over 25 years of experience. He is a specialist in corporate and commercial law as well as tax law.Maleka would be joined by another senior counsel, Leah Gcabashe, who is currently the vice-chairperson of the Johannesburg Society of Advocates. She is a member of Advocates for Transformation and, alongside Maleka, has been acting judge in various divisions.
The fourth member of the legal team announced by Zondo is the current chairperson of Advocates for Transformation in KwaZulu-Natal, Thandi Norman.
She was a member of the Judicial Service Commission and she too served as an acting judge.
Meanwhile, Zondo also named Dr Khotso De Wee as the secretary of the commission who will be in charge of its day-to-day operations.
De Wee is a veteran civil servant who currently works in the private sector and has a PhD is public administration.
He previously worked as a CEO in the Department of Justice and acting secretary general in the Office of the Chief Justice.
De Wee’s early days as a civil servant were spent in provincial government where he later became the director general in the Free State government.
Zondo acknowledged that the task ahead for the commission in investigating the true extent of state capture and who was responsible would not be easy.