SA’s Deputy President cleared of oil for food scandal

By Crystal van Wyk

Posted on Thursday, 8 December 2011 00:21

A long awaited report into South Africa’s role in the controversial Iraqi oil for food scandal has cleared Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale of illegal activities.

A Commission of inquiry investigated their conduct in the alleged illicit activities of certain South African companies and individuals relating to the United Nations Oil for Food Programme in Iraq. It also investigated illegal transactions between the UN Oil for Food programme, it was widely reported that the two men were involved in the scandal.

The report, which followed a probe by advocate Michael Donen, was posted on the presidency’s website. Former president Thabo Mbeki established the Donen Commission in 2006, but reportedly declined releasing the report to the public.

According to a statement from the presidency, Mbeki decided against releasing the “report pending the advice from the Chief State Law Advisor and due to its incompleteness amongst other reasons”.

“We reiterate that President (Jacob) Zuma has decided to release the report despite the potential for misuse of the contents, as he is of the view that the public interest will be served by the public release of the report,” the president’s office said.

The statement added that: “it is hoped that the release will end the gossip, speculation, misconceptions and misperceptions”.

“The Commission found that no one whose name featured in their investigation had contravened any South African law and that the three persons named by the media, such as the Motlanthe, Tokyo Sexwale, and the Director- General of the Department of Minerals and Energy, Advocate Sandile Nogxina were not the subjects of the Commission’s investigation,” the statement continued.

According toCity Press, the Presidency spokesperson, Mac Maharaj said “Donen also found that the leaked versions of the Commission report first published in the media on 23 August 2009 had created misconceptions about the true content of the Commission reports”.

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