State capture inquiry: PP available to compile terms of reference

Casey Dawson
January 13, 2018

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

"While we lament the inordinate delay in the announcement by president Zuma of this appointment, we optimistically take the development as a signal of the beginnings of critical shifts in the quality of governance of South Africa", the chamber said.

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.

"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.

Zuma, who has denied wrongdoing, said he has appealed the order to pay the costs himself but is moving ahead with a commission of inquiry because "this matter has occupied the public mind for some time now and deserves urgent attention". "It (Zuma's recall) never arose", Dlamini said.

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.

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Zuma had previously tried to get the recommendations set aside, but lost the bid in December. The report delved into the Zuma administration's dealings with the Gupta family.

The Guptas relocated to South Africa from India in 1993 and have allegedly used their vast wealth to wield influence over the government.

"I am also mindful of the concerns raised by the public protector in her report, wherein she lamented the lack of resources to conduct a wider inquiry into this matter", said Zuma.

"We reiterate the hope that the newly established commission would be able to lay bare to the South African public the extent to which the family, with their close association to the President, has captured the state".

Mkhwebane has called on Zuma to ensure that Zondo has the power to "expand the issues to be investigated, should any relevant evidence of state capture be brought to him during the inquiry", an approach Madonsela differs from vehemently.

This is according to Legalbrief legal expert, Pam Saxby, who said that a key sentence in the lengthy statement could be interpreted as a precursor of what is to come when the terms of reference of the commission are decided.

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