Marikana to state capture: justice's huge cost
A series of inquiries cost a pretty penny, but the state capture probe is going to cost taxpayers a lot more
R580-million. That’s what South African taxpayers have spent on inquiries into the Marikana massacre, free tertiary education and the arms deal – and will spend on the commission into state capture.
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said in May his state capture investigation would cost R230m for the first six months of its existence, making it the most expensive inquiry in recent history.
The second-most expensive was the nearly four-year inquiry into the Marikana massacre, which cost the state R157m.
The Seriti Commission probing the arms deal, which also took nearly four years to complete, cost R137m.Finally, according to figures released by the Justice Department to Times Select, the Heher inquiry into the feasibility of free tertiary education cost taxpayers R56m over nearly two years.
In a court application for the state capture inquiry to be extended from six months to two years, Zondo revealed that he had difficulty in securing that money from the government, as well as convincing officials from Treasury, the Justice Department and State Security that his commission’s “funding and procurement processes could not simply follow the template for other commissions of inquiry”.
This was because “it was very important to be able to ensure the confidentiality of many of the operations so that the integrity of its information would not be compromised in any way”.
It’s been reported that the commission had budgeted a potential R10m for the installation of access control and security systems, including CCTV and x-ray scanners, at the commission’s new premises in Parktown, Johannesburg.But, as yet, it is unclear how Zondo’s concerns around security and confidentiality may have led to the apparent spike in the commission’s costs. Nor is it clear how the extension of the inquiry may impact on its costs.
Meanwhile, it’s expected that certain legal rights groups and opposition parties may challenge Zondo’s application for his inquiry to be extended.
The deputy chief justice obtained a temporary order granting that extension, but it will only be finalised if and when the Pretoria High Court decides on the validity of any potential objections.
The Justice Department also released to Times Select the cost breakdown for three major commissions of inquiry.
Total cost: R157m;
Evidence leaders, commissioners and investigators: R103m;
Accommodation and travel: R25m;
Arms deal inquiry
Total cost: R137m;
Evidence leaders: R83m;
Total cost: R56m;
Evidence leaders: R38.5m;