Published: Thu, January 11, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

South Africa's Zuma Announces Inquiry Into Alleged "State Capture"

South Africa's Zuma Announces Inquiry Into Alleged

Cape Town - On the eve of a crucial meeting of the ANC's national executive committee (NEC) - expected to discuss his recall - President Jacob Zuma announced the establishment of the long-awaited commission of inquiry into state capture, saying "the matter can not wait any longer".

Zuma said extra resources would be made available to the commission of inquiry.

"President Jacob Zuma has wished the delegation well in the annual meeting which provides an important platform to market and showcase the country to global business and other key worldwide stakeholders", the Presidency statement said.

"It would be inappropriate for the president to decide the terms of reference for an investigation on allegations he is implicated", spokesperson Alex Mashilo said.

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Zuma announced the establishment of the commission, which is to be headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, on Tuesday evening - ahead of the ANC's national executive committee meeting on Wednesday.

The move comes after several court attempts to block the remedial action ordered by the Public Protector in the report "State of Capture" released more than a year ago, according to which the president should appoint a commission, with the head selected by the chief justice.

The report called for a full-scale commission of inquiry with wide reaching powers.

"Accordingly, by making more resources available, it is my honest hope that the commission will be able to reach many of those areas of concern that may not have been reached by the public protector's investigation, but form part of what she might have investigated, had she had sufficient resources to do so".

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"There is nothing under the sun stopping president Zuma or any president from initiating twenty judicial inquiries into state capture by white monopoly capital".

Zuma's sacking past year of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan triggered downgrades of South Africa's credit rating to junk status, significantly raising borrowing costs for Africa's most industrialised economy.

"Regarding the terms of reference for the inquiry, the prima facie evidence and remedial actions, as stated by the former Public Protector, should form the basis thereof".

FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald said the fact that Zuma wants to expand the terms of reference of the initial probe to include everybody involved in all state capture is further proof that Zuma will do everything possible to stay president of the country.

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"Such broad terms would have the potential to bog down the inquiry, rendering it ineffective, but whether Zuma will emerge from this week's ANC conference in East London with enough power to influence the terms of reference will be instructive", she said.

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