President Cyril Ramaphosa has made an amendment to the regulations governing the commission of inquiry into state capture to address concerns about the lawfulness and constitutionality of specific sections of the regulations.
Of particular concern was regulation 8(2), which deals with the admissibility in possible criminal proceedings of evidence presented to the commission. Submissions received by The Presidency from the Helen Suzman Foundation and Afriforum suggested, among other things, that the regulation may undermine efforts to prosecute any persons implicated in criminal activity.
On the basis of legal advice, the President has amended regulation 8(2) to limit the inadmissibility of such evidence to circumstances where a witness may incriminate themselves.
Regulation 8(2) has been replaced in its entirety with the following:
“A self-incriminating answer or a statement given by a witness before the Commission shall not be admissible as evidence against that person in any criminal proceedings brought against that person instituted in any court, except in criminal proceedings where the person concerned is charged with an offence in terms of section 6 of the Commissions Act, 1947 (Act No. 8 of 1947).”
The amendment to the Regulations is being published in the Government Gazette today.