State capture inquiry to cost taxpayers R20 million

Image Credits: The Citizen

The state capture commission of inquiry headed up by Zondo is expected to last around 6 months, but should it see the need to run longer, the cost to taxpayers will increase.

Despite it being impossible to give an exact figure as to the costs of the inquiry, if it goes by anything close to the arms deal, taxpayers need to be afraid.

South Africa’s Seriti Commission of Inquiry set up in 1999  to investigate allegations of corruption and bribery in the arms-procurement deal, cost taxpayers almost R140 million.

Former Public Protector and author of the State Capture report, Advocate Thuli Madonsela said that everything from pens and printer ink to security and salaries needed to be taken into account.

Madonsela briefly broke-down the expenses to IOL linked to such an inquiry.

“In order for this inquiry to be independent, it obviously cannot be linked to anyone or any business. One would need to first rent office space for the period in which the inquiry is expected to be conducted,” she said.

Once the space was acquired, computers, telephones, internet connection and all other infrastructure needed to be installed.

“Believe it or not but a printer and ink are so important. There will be lots of copies that will be made of every document or page that comes through that office,” she said.

Salaries and allowances for staff and those seconded to the investigation would have to be agreed on. She said that Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo would not be paid as he already receives a salary and has a vehicle from the state to transport him around.

But, vehicles would have to be acquired for staff to be transported to the various places they will be visiting.

Madonsela said another high-cost factor was outsourcing the forensic work.

“Forensic investigators would need to triangulate computers and cellphones. Then there are data miners that would be needed to sift through the data found on these devices,” she said.

Madonsela said security was also a much-needed tool to ensure that the findings, equipment and documentation was kept safe throughout the inquiry.

[Source: IOL]

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