R2K files PAIA request to have Moerane Commission transcripts, report made public

Advocacy group The Right to Know (R2K) Campaign has officially requested to have Moerane Commission transcripts and the commission's subsequent report made public.

The group said on Monday that it had made the request on August 16, using the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), to KwaZulu-Natal premier Willies Mchunu, asking for the documents.

READ Moerane Commission: Report is with the KZN legislature - officials

The commission probed political killings in the province.

"In terms of [PAIA], the premier must release the documents within 30 days or give valid reasons why he cannot," R2K said in a statement.

"We remind the premier that the hearings were funded by the public, the majority of them open to the public, and pertaining to issues of great importance to the public. The Right2Know Campaign therefore demands that the transcripts be made public."

'Processed by relevant committees'

The Moerane Commission report was handed to the office of the premier in June and was working its way through the provincial legislature, legislature spokesperson Wonder Hlongwa previously said.

"The report is currently being processed by relevant committees. As soon as this process is complete, the next course of action will [be to] communicate to the relevant stakeholders and the general public."

READ: R2K condemns KZN MEC's comments 'declaring war' on 'illegal' protests

Thami Ngidi, spokesperson for Mchunu, previously told News24 he had handed over the report just a week after he received it.

"The premier showed the report to the provincial executive committee (PEC) on the day he received it. The following week, he had sent it to the speaker."

According to the KwaZulu-Natal Commissions Act, the relevant portfolio committee of the legislature must decide on a way forward with regard to the report and provide formal comment or input to the premier in writing.

The commission was tasked with probing the underlying causes of murders in KwaZulu-Natal. It was established in 2016 and was chaired by advocate Marumo Moerane.

Mchunu said he had established the commission of inquiry due to the "worrying levels of violence in the province which have since not abated".

In 2018 alone, there were murders of four councillors in separate incidents in Zululand, Ugu and uMgungundlovu.

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