No surprises as Zuma sticks to Madonsela's state capture probe recommendations

2018-01-25 14:30
President Jacob Zuma. (GCIS)

President Jacob Zuma. (GCIS)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma, some members of his Cabinet and the Gupta family will come under scrutiny when the State of Capture commission of inquiry gets under way.

The terms of reference released on Thursday are expected to guide the investigation into allegations that there was an improper relationship between Zuma and his friends, the Guptas

The president said he was "guided by the [former] public protector's State of Capture report, the Constitution, relevant legislation, policies and guidelines".

READ: State capture commission must investigate all state corruption, focus on Guptas

Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s 2016 State of Capture report probed claims that the Guptas had undue influence over Zuma and had a hand in some of his key decisions, which included the appointment of Cabinet ministers and the awarding of tenders at state-owned enterprises.

In the nine terms of reference, Zuma wants the commission to look into whether he personally had any role in allegations that the Gupta family offered former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas and former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor Cabinet positions.

Jonas told Madonsela he had been offered the position of finance minister in October 2015, just months before Nhlanhla Nene was fired from that position.

Gupta bribe allegations

He said Ajay Gupta offered him R600m in exchange for furthering the family’s business interests and removing key officials at the treasury, who the Guptas felt made their mission difficult.

Mentor made similar allegations. She said she was offered the position of minister of public enterprises in exchange for shutting down SAA’s lucrative India route in order to open a gap for the Gupta family.

Zuma appointed Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to head the inquiry to investigate whether the appointment of any member of the executive was disclosed to the Guptas or any other "unauthorised person" before the appointment was made.

READ: Zondo vows no fear or favour in state capture inquiry

When it comes to the state-owned enterprises (SOE), the president wants the commission to investigate whether he or any current member former members of Cabinet, including deputy ministers or public officials and employees of SOEs breached the Constitution or any relevant ethical code or legislation to benefit the notorious family.

This comes as some key officials from Eskom are appearing before a committee in Parliament to account for some of the questionable tenders which were awarded to companies linked to the Guptas.

Gupta Leaks has also revealed undue influence at state-owned arms company Denel.

Zuma also called for an investigation into any irregularities, undue enrichment, corruption and undue influence in the awarding of contracts, mining licenses, government advertising in the New Age newspaper and any other government services in the dealings with the Guptas.

Pressure from the banks

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane's baffling announcement on a commission of inquiry into why South Africa’s four big banks closed the family’s accounts, which both the presidency and Cabinet distanced themselves from will also form part of the inquiry.

The inquiry should look into "whether any member of the national executive and including deputy ministers, unlawfully or corruptly or improperly intervened in the matter of the closing of banking facilities for Gupta owned companies," said the president in his terms of reference.

Zuma has given the commission 180 days to complete its work, however he added that the terms of reference could be added too or even “amended” from time to time.

ALSO READ: Prosecute state capture perpetrators - Ramaphosa

“The commission shall where appropriate, refer any matter for prosecution, further investigation or the convening of a separate enquiry to the appropriate law enforcement agency, government department or regulator regarding the conduct of a certain person/s,” said the president in keeping with Madonsela’s recommendations.

Zuma also committed to providing the resources and the employment of staff for the commission.

All eyes will be on the regulations, which are due to follow the terms of reference.

“Regulations shall be made, after consultations with the presiding judge in terms of the Commissions Act, 1947 and shall apply to the commission in order to enable the commission to conduct its work meaningfully and effectively and to facilitate the gathering of evidence by conferring on the Commission powers as necessary, including the power to enter and search premises, secure the attendance and compel the production of documents,” said Zuma.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.