Donen report finds no criminal activity
Cape Town - The Donen Commission of Inquiry into allegations of
illicit activities in the United Nations' Iraq oil-for-food programme
found that no one whose name featured in their investigation had
contravened any South African law.
"It has to be stressed that the Donen Report does not
make any definitive final findings in respect of the conduct of the
named individuals in so far as the impact of such conduct on UN
resolutions and policy is concerned," presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj
said on Wednesday.
President Jacob Zuma released the report earlier in the day.
The commission was established on February 17, 2006 by
then president Thabo Mbeki to investigate alleged illicit activities of
certain South African companies or individuals relating to the UN
Maharaj said Mbeki had refused the commission's last
request for extra time and the commission consequently handed in its
final report in September 2006.
Interim reports had been handed in May and June that year.
"Former president Mbeki decided against releasing the
report pending the advice from the chief state law adviser and due to
its incompleteness among other reasons."
Maharaj said it was important to note that all those
caught up in the subject matter of the inquiry were not the subjects of
the commission's investigation.
They also did not have an opportunity to present their version of events fully.
"In addition, much of the commission's collection of
information did not involve evidence on oath with the test of
cross-examination being applied."
Released with the three-part report was a letter
written by the chairman Advocate Michael Donen SC, to the then director
general in the presidency, dated August 28, 2009.
"He wrote it because he 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," Maharaj said.
"These misconceptions severely impugned the character and dignity of several persons."
The commission found that no one whose name featured in their investigation had contravened any South African law.
Donen's letter explicitly stated that the three persons
"named" by the media -- Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, Human
Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale, and the DG of the minerals and
energy department Sandile Nogxina -- were not the subjects of the
Motlanthe, who was at the time the secretary-general of
the ANC, had intervened with the authorities in Iraq to ensure that
they adhered to the decisions and rules determined by the UN programme.
Donen also stated that Nogxina, "made a valuable
contribution to the commission's work", that "no blame could be attached
to the DG", and that "his personal involvement as a participant in
illicit activities was so remote as to not even warrant any
consideration of his culpability or otherwise".
Regarding Sexwale, the commission "exonerated Mr Sexwale from liability as a participant in illicit activities".
"The comments made in the report are not to be elevated
to findings of fact. These were interim and untried comments as the
report recognises. They must be treated as such," Maharaj said.
The September 2006 report proposed actions or steps to
be taken to prevent companies or persons falling under South African
jurisdiction from becoming involved in future illegal or irregular
international activities, including sanctions-busting in respect of
internationally imposed sanctions.
Zuma had asked Justice and Constitutional Development
Minister Jeff Radebe to review the documentation and consider passing
the relevant legislation and/or amend existing legislation to rectify
any shortcomings in domestic law, Maharaj said.
Cape Town - The commission of inquiry into the
Iraq "food for oil" programme found that while businessman Sandile Majali
had undertaken to pay a surcharge to Iraqi authorities in spite of UN
sanctions, the commission did not make findings against any individual
The report of the commission led by advocate Michael Donen was
released by President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday after an undertaking to
release the report by no later than December 7, after the Cape Argus
launched an urgent application in the Cape High Court for the release of
The statement on the Presidency website cited a letter written
by Donen to the Presidency saying that "the three persons 'named' by
the media, such as the honourable Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe,
the honourable Minister of Human Settlements Tokyo Sexwale, and the
Director-General of the Department of Minerals and Energy, Advocate
Sandile Nogxina were not the subjects of the commission's
The statement said that Deputy President Motlanthe, who was at
the time the secretary-general of the African National Congress, had
intervened with the authorities in Iraq in order to ensure that they
adhered to the decisions and rules determined by the UN Security Council
Oil for Food Programme in Iraq.
Donen also stated that the former director-general of the
Department of Minerals and Energy, Sandile Nogxina, "made a valuable
contribution to the commission's work", that "no blame could be attached
to the director-general" and that "his personal involvement as a
participant in illicit activities was so remote as to not even warrant
any consideration of his culpability or otherwise".
The statement said that in the case of the Minister of Human
Settlements Tokyo Sexwale, who was in business at the time, the
Commission "exonerated Sexwale from liability as a participant in
The report stated that Sandile Majali, who died a year ago,
had undertaken to pay the surcharge to the Iraqi authorities, contrary
to the UN programme; that it seemed he had only made partial surcharge
payments and that again there was no evidence that he had acted contrary
to any South African laws.
"It has to be stressed that the Donen Report does not make any
definitive final findings in respect of the conduct of the named
individuals in so far as the impact of such conduct on United Nations
Resolutions and Policy is concerned," the Presidency statement said.
Former President Thabo Mbeki commissioned the Donen inquiry in
2006 after the US government accused South African companies of paying a
"surcharge" to the Iraqi government, led by Saddam Hussein, to obtain
oil, which should have been traded for food instead.
The final, of three parts to the report, was submitted to
President Mbeki in June 2006 and it had been under wraps since then.
Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj has said the information
in the Donen reports had to be treated with care and that President
Zuma was "aware of the potential misuse of the contents of the report".
"We wish to caution that the comments made in the report about
individuals must not be elevated to findings of fact as these were
interim and untried comments," Maharaj said.
Pity, Selebi could have used some company.
Then avail the reoprt to teh general public!
Filtered then filtered again and again and....just look at who were named once again....our have no interest in being President ol d Julius supporter...Tokyo, out of prison into ANC government made millions as a "communist", went into Private Business, made hundreds of millions...back into government...you all rotten to the core...!!