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Legalbrief   |   your legal news hub Thursday 29 February 2024

Tribunal to join dots, before and after democracy

Allegations of state capture and economic crimes committed before and after democracy in 1994 are under scrutiny at the high-powered People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime which got under way at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg at the weekend. The tribunal aims to ‘join the dots’ in the country’s story of state capture and plunder, says a Sunday Tribune report. Organised by Open Secrets, Corruption Watch, Right2know and the Public Affairs Research Institute, there will be five days of public hearings into corruption and economic crimes over the past 40 years. Among the adjudicators are former Constitutional Court Judge Zak Yacoob, former UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay, Dinga Sikwebu, Mandisa Dyantyi, Yasmin Sooka and Allyson Maynard Gibson. Yacoob said while the tribunal had no power to prosecute, its findings would be submitted to government. If nothing was done, private prosecution would be considered where necessary, he said. People expecting to give evidence include Hennie van Vuuren, author of Apartheid Guns and Money: A Tale of Profit. His book, released last year, lifted the lid on the underhand dealings of the apartheid government, amounting to billions, and how an international criminal conspiracy was set up to enable the apartheid state to buy guns and other weapons. The book also revealed that Armscor, now Denel, had 844 bank accounts in 196 banks in at least 27 countries, the majority in Europe.