Zuma ignores Gupta emails, but ‘will welcome’ state capture probe

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President Jacob Zuma reads his budget vote speech in Parliament. Picture: Jan Gerber
President Jacob Zuma reads his budget vote speech in Parliament. Picture: Jan Gerber

President Jacob Zuma will welcome a probe into “what has been termed state capture”.

“Let me place it on record that there is no opposition from the government or the presidency to an inquiry into state capture,” he told the National Assembly on Wednesday while delivering the presidency's budget vote.

Without any mention of the weekend’s leaked Gupta emails, Zuma said a probe into state capture would help “recover the facts and remove rumours“.

“What has caused a delay is the manner the former public protector directed the inquiry to be done, that infringes on the rights of the president,” he said.

“It will cause problems...” he said, with a Democratic Alliance member of Parliament interjecting in the characteristic pause in Zuma’s speech: “For you!”

Undeterred, Zuma explained that, according to him, it would be a problem if the Chief Justice appointed the commission as the Public Protector directed, because it would create a precedent, and it undermined the principle of separation of powers.

“We want you in the tjoekie [behind bars]!” DA chief whip John Steenhuisen interjected while Zuma said that he trusted the matter would be resolved quickly.

Zuma started his speech addressing the recent spate of killings of women, which he described as brutal.

“Some are killed by men they trusted,” he said.

“Violence against women has been declared a priority crime.”

He said human trafficking was “despicable”, a gross violation of human rights and “tantamount to modern day slavery”.

He referred to his recent visit to Elsies River in Cape Town, where three-year-old Courtney Pieters was murdered.

He said the community told him that the solution to crime would not only come from policing, but that better housing and more social workers were needed.

He said families should be strengthened.

“We need to unify as communities as all sectors... to promote safer communities. United we shall defeat this scourge.”

The Economic Freedom Fighters parliamentarians, who previously vowed that they would not allow Zuma, whom they view as an illegitimate president, to address then, were not present at the sitting. – News24

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