March 17, 2018

State Capture Inquiry - Mkhwebane Reacts, Raising More Questions Than Answers

13 January 2018, 01:11 | Kara Nash

Jacob Zuma relents on inquiry into South African state capture

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has called for a broadening of the scope of the investigation into state capture.

Zuma said that he appealed the cost order and the order regarding the duties of the president to appoint commissions of inquiry in terms of section 84 of the Constitution.

On Tuesday, Zuma announced that he had appointed Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to head the commission after the North Gauteng High Court last month ordered that the remedial action of the public protector was binding and he was directed to appoint a commission of inquiry within 30 days.

A previous investigation into the issue of state capture was not completed due to a lack of resources but former public protector Thuli Madonsela said she was encouraged by Zuma's reference to it. Zuma argued that he is concerned that this sets a particular precedent for the office of President and is deserving of legal certainty. Some of Ramaphosa's supporters had wanted to use the first gathering of the party's leaders to pass a motion of no-confidence in Zuma and have him recalled from the Union Buildings. "Zuma deserves no credit for this decision".

The announcement comes after the North Gauteng High Court's judgment of 14 December previous year, which ordered Zuma to appoint a commission of inquiry within 30 days. "His hand has been forced", said Mmusi Maimane, leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance.

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Madonsela released a report‚ titled State of Capture‚ in November previous year concerning allegations of an improper relationship between Zuma‚ other state officials and the Gupta family. We hope that the NEC will have the backbone to heed calls by Robben Islanders such as Ahmed Kathrada and Laloo Chiba, as well as numerous other veterans, who have called for Zuma to step down.

"Having perused some of the evidence at her disposal and [in the] public domain, the public protector also calls upon the president to ensure that the terms of reference are broad enough to include the capture of all state institutions and SOEs [state-owned entities]", she said.

The North Gauteng High Court ordered at the end of past year that the commission be set up within 30 days and the judge selected exclusively by Mogoeng, due to Zuma's conflict of interest.

It would be an affront to the people of South Africa for those found to be in violation of the country's guiding principles and laws to be provided with a "deal" or "a way out", simply because of who they are.

ANC insiders say this ace played by Zuma could weaken any attempts to oust him at Wednesday's NEC sitting, where it is rumoured that he will make an appearance.

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