EFF opposed to Judicial Commission appointed by Zuma

2017-06-01 21:20
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi. (File, News24)

Mbuyiseni Ndlozi. (File, News24)

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Johannesburg - The EFF has rejected any Judicial Commission of Inquiry into state capture if the judge to preside over the commission is appointed by President Jacob Zuma, the party said on Thursday.

"In keeping with the recommendations of the Public Protector, a Judicial Commission of Inquiry that will be investigating Zuma cannot at the same time be solely appointed by Zuma.

This will result in a conflict of interest in that it violates the basic principle of fair justice," the party’s spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement. 

Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela recommended that the chief justice puts forward one judge to lead the inquiry. However, Zuma is reviewing that decision. The Constitution gives Zuma the sole power to appoint a Judicial Commission of Inquiry.

He told parliament on Wednesday that Madonsela's recommendation on how the inquiry must be done infringes on the rights of the president.

"It will cause problems..." Zuma said. 

However, Ndlozi said while Zuma has the presidential prerogative, if he appointed the judge, it would "violate the principles of fair justice" and the idea that the commission is in pursuit of justice will be a "mockery".

'Defying' Madonsela 

On Monday, the national executive committee (NEC) of the ANC said it backed calls for an inquiry to be established without delay, but said it wanted the inquiry to extend beyond the state of capture report.  

Madonsela investigated the alleged undue influence of the politically connected Gupta family on the executive and state owned entities. The ANC wants the inquiry's terms of reference to begin from 1994 when the party came to power and investigate other business entities' influence on the state.  

However, the EFF has also rejected their call, insisting that the Public Protector's report be the point of departure. 

"We reject that nonsense, anything outside the pubic protector, we will interdict. The ANC must stop defying the public protector," Ndlozi told News24.

He said they want the inquiry to have the same powers as the Public Protector - with the judge allowed to collect evidence and appoint his own staff as recommended by Madonsela in her report.

"This is the only way that such a Commission can have integrity and public trust," Ndlozi said.

Gupta emails  

The calls for an inquiry also come amid scores of leaked emails that suggest the Gupta family, which Zuma has defended as his friends, have had influence on various levels of the state.

Allegations of state capture drew traction after former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas and former ANC MP Vytjie Mentoor said they were offered ministerial positions by the family.

"The commission must have the integrity to investigate a sitting president without fear or favour," Ndlozi said.

"We know for a fact that Jacob Zuma has surrendered his constitutional duties like the appointment of ministers to the Gupta family. This family offers cabinet posts to politicians in exchange for state business contracts and kickbacks," Ndlozi said.

The party has also cautioned that inquiries often delay justice, citing the Seriti commission into the arms deal and the Marikana commission that investigated the deaths of 44 people during the Lonmin strike in 2012.

"In the case of the State of Capture Report, we are convinced that the quickest and more just way to resolve a compromised president who is corrupt and who has surrendered the constitutional and democratic mandate bestowed on them to a private family is to institute impeachment proceedings."

The party has launched an application at the constitutional court to have Zuma impeached.

Read more on:    anc  |  eff  |  thuli ­madonsela  |  jacob zuma  |  state capture

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