'Get out of jail' section removed from state capture commission regulations

'Get out of jail' section removed from state capture commission regulations

A small, technical change to section 8 (2) was gazetted on Friday.

State capture report

Two organisations have welcomed the amendment to a section of the regulations for the commission of inquiry into state capture.


President Cyril Ramaphosa amended section 8(2) of the regulations "to address concerns about the lawfulness and constitutionality of specific sections of the regulations".


The amendment was published in the Government Gazette on Friday.

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The Helen Suzman Foundation and Afriforum made submissions to the Presidency raising concerns "that the regulation may undermine efforts to prosecute any persons implicated in criminal activity".


The original section read: "No evidence regarding any fact or information that comes to light shall be admissible in any criminal proceedings." That has been replaced with: "A self-incrimination answer or a statement given by a witness before the Commission shall not be admissible..."

"That resolves a dilemma which we thought needed to be resolved," says the Helen Suzman Foundation's Francis Antonie, saying the new clause contains no "get out of jail card" as any offence will still carry with it the possibility of criminal prosecution.


Afriforum is also satisfied with the amendment.


Afriforum's Willie Spies explains the original regulation meant that any evidence before the commission would have been "sterilised" as it would not have been able to be used in criminal proceedings.


The new clause is more specific in terms of dealing with self-incriminating evidence by a witness testifying before the commission, says Spies.

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