Published: Thu, January 11, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

S. African president to appoint commission of inquiry into "state capture"


The South African Communist Party (SACP) has welcomed the appointment of the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, saying it was long overdue.

"Pursuant to the investigation and remedial action of the Public Protector regarding complaints and allegations of the State of Capture, as well as the orders issued by the North Gauteng High Court in its judgment of 14 December 2017, I have chose to appoint a commission of inquiry", Zuma said in a statement released on Tuesday evening, shortly before 19:30. This, following his failed bid to have Madonsela's remedial action, that Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng select a judge to head the inquiry, reviewed by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

"It is of such serious public concern that any further delay will make the public doubt government's determination to dismantle all forms of corruption‚ and entrench the public perception that the state has been captured by private interests for nefarious and self-enrichment purposes".

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"Accordingly, I have decided that, while the issues determined by the order require final determination by higher courts, this matter can not wait any longer". Zuma wanted Madonsela's remedial action set aside.

Mkhwebane said that after she had "perused" some of the information available, she called upon Zuma to ensure the terms of reference were "broad enough to include the capture of all state institutions and SOEs, so that the ability of the Commission to uncover the full extent of State Capture in South Africa is not constrained in any manner".

Former ANC member of Parliament Vytjie Mentor said, while the decision caught her by surprise, she was concerned that Zuma was not explicit that the commission's terms of reference will be according to former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's recommendations. I am aware that this issue has occupied the attention of the public for some time and deserves to be addressed urgently, the note says.

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Madonsela released a report‚ titled State of Capture‚ in November a year ago concerning allegations of an improper relationship between Zuma‚ other state officials and the Gupta family.

It is alleged the Gupta brothers - Tony, Ajay and Atul - used their influence with Zuma to obtain lucrative state contracts while Duduzane, who works for the Guptas, acted as proxy. "But better late than never".

The rand has swung between 12.2275 and the upper 12.50s for the first two weeks of the year, pushed and pulled by mostly rumour-fuelled bets of a Zuma resignation before his term ends in 2019.

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