PRESS STATEMENT: COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO THE RAPID DEPRECIATION OF THE EXCHANGE RATE OF THE RAND AND RELATED MATTERS

 
COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO THE RAPID DEPRECIATION OF THE EXCHANGE RATE OF THE RAND AND RELATED MATTERS
Chairperson: Adv J Myburgh, SC, Commissioners:  Mr M Gantsho & Ms C Qunta, Secretary: Mr C van Niekerk

2nd Floor, Rex Welsh House, Cnr Gwen & Maude Street, Sandown Village, 2196, TEL: 072 2493336, Fax: 011 – 263 9005, e-mail: annemarie@counsel.co.za

EMBARGO - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRESS STATEMENT: COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO THE RAPID DEPRECIATION OF THE EXCHANGE RATE OF THE RAND AND RELATED MATTERS

The members and secretary of the Commission as well as assistants to the Commission have been appointed, Regulations for the Conduct of the Proceedings of the Commission were signed, facilities have been arranged to provide for whistleblowers and the nature of the proceedings has been determined.

The President has appointed the following members of the Commission:

  • John Myburgh SC (Chairperson)  

  • Mandla Gantsho  

  • Christine Qunta  

Mr Chris van Niekerk has been appointed as secretary to the Commission  

The following institutions and persons have been appointed to assist the Commission.  

  • Deloitte & Touche  

  • KPMG  

  • Gobodo Forensic & Investigative Accounting 

  • Mr Brian Ellis Abrahams  

  • Hofmeyr Herbstein & Gihwala Inc  

  • Tabacks Inc  

On 30 January 2002 the President signed the Regulations for the Conduct of the Proceedings of the Commission, which should be promulgated in the Government Gazette of 4 February 2002.

Facilities have been arranged to provide information to the Commission on a strictly confidential basis (whistleblowers) with immediate effect:

i)          KPMG, at no cost to the Commission will manage the following:  

  • Hotline number - 0800 11 47 11  

  • Hotfax number - 0800 200 796  

  • Hotmail (e-mail) address - forex@kpmg.co.za; and  

  • Hotpost - BNT 371, PO Box 14671, Sinoville, 0129  

ii)         Deloitte & Touche Tip-offs Anonymous Independent Disclosure Service: 

  • 0800 12 13 14 (South African callers)  

  • +27 31 508 6335 (International callers)  

  •   Free fax - 0800 00 77 88  

  • e-mail - randcommission@tip-offs.com  

  • free post - DN298, Umhlanga Rocks, 4320

The nature of the Proceedings for the Commission will be as follows:

  • The Commission will initially commence its investigations in private by interviewing potential witnesses and obtaining relevant documentary evidence.

  • By early March 2002, the Commission should be in a position to commence the public hearing in terns of s4 of the Commissions Act, 8 of 1947.  

  • The media and public will be given notice of the date and time of commencement and venue by the secretary of the Commission once those details have been finalised.

  • It is premature to give a reliable estimate of the duration of the hearings.  

  •   Cooperation of institutions whose transactions might be scrutinised by the Commission:

i)  In the past two weeks, the chairman of the Commission, on occasion accompanied by commissioner Mandla Gantsho, has held meetings with banks, both South African and foreign, representative bodies such as Business South Africa and the South African Foundation, the Reserve Bank and National Treasury.  

ii)  At each meeting, the representatives of those institutions were requested to cooperate with the Commission in the following concrete way:  

  • by collecting relevant data and documentation;  

  • by identifying potential witnesses; and  

  •   by preparing witness statements.  

iii)  The institutions agreed to cooperate with the Commission to the extent possible. It is hoped that in that way the Commission will be able to conduct its investigation in an expeditious and effective way.

iv)  One of the focus points of the Commission will be the relevant transactions of banks, particularly those which are authorised dealers.  In order to get an understanding of the nature of the different markets and the type of transactions concluded by a typical bank, the Commission has requested Standard Bank and Investec Bank to assist it in obtaining that understanding.  Standard Bank and Investec have kindly agreed to provide that assistance, which should enable the Commission to formulate the templates for quick and effective investigation.   Those banks were approached because of the large scale of their operations.   To avoid any suggestion that those banks were “fingered”, the Commission wishes to make it clear that they were not in any way implicated by Mr. Kevin Wakeford in his report to the President.  Once that process has been completed, all banks and other institutions whose transactions fall within the Terms of Reference will be investigated.

All correspondence must be addressed to Mr. Chris van Niekerk, secretary to the Commission, as well as media enquiries, of whatever nature.  Any one who wishes to contact the assistants to the Commission should also do that through the secretary of the Commission. His contact details are:

Cell:    072 249 3336

Fax:     (011) 263 9005

Physical address:     2nd Floor, Rex Welsh House, Sandown Village, Cnr Maude Street and Gwen Lane, Sandown, Sandton

ENQUIRIES: Chris van Niekerk, Cell:   072 249 3336, Fax:    (012) 325 8688