Zuma appoints 'state capture' commission

President Jacob Zuma (Photo: Gallo Images)
President Jacob Zuma (Photo: Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - South African President Jacob Zuma said he would appoint a commission of inquiry into allegations that the Gupta family was allowed to influence state decisions and that he would abide by a court ruling for the Chief Justice to select its leader.

The High Court in December rejected Zuma’s arguments that he alone can set up the commission and ordered him to pay the cost of the case.

While the president has appealed the cost order and the judgment regarding the duties of the president to appoint commissions, he said in a statement on Tuesday he is taking further legal advice on this.

“I am concerned that this matter has occupied the public mind for some time now and deserves urgent attention,” Zuma said.

“The allegations that the state has been wrestled out of the hands of its real owners, the people of South Africa, is of paramount importance and are therefore deserving of finality and certainty.”

Zuma’s about-turn comes a day before the new top leadership of the ruling African National Congress meets for the first time on Wednesday.

A proposal to order Zuma to step down before his term ends in 2019 will be discussed at the gathering in the southern city of East London, according to three people who spoke on condition of anonymity. Zuma’s scandal-tainted tenure has eroded support for the ANC and he relinquished control of the party to his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, at an elective conference last month.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said in November 2016 that Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng should appoint the head of the inquiry because the president had a conflict of interest.

Mogoeng has selected Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, Zuma said on Tuesday. Zuma didn’t say who the commission’s other members will be.

Madonsela had ordered the inquiry into allegations that the Guptas may have influenced the appointment of cabinet members in Zuma’s administration and received special treatment for a coal business linked to the family and one of the president’s sons. Zuma and the Guptas have denied wrongdoing.

* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER

ZAR/USD
17.05
(-0.46)
ZAR/GBP
21.31
(-0.47)
ZAR/EUR
19.28
(-0.41)
ZAR/AUD
11.86
(-0.19)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(-0.31)
Gold
1784.01
(-0.04)
Silver
18.15
(-0.62)
Platinum
817.00
(-0.37)
Brent Crude
43.07
(+0.70)
Palladium
1920.00
(+0.13)
All Share
54846.28
(+0.60)
Top 40
50503.91
(+0.65)
Financial 15
10134.53
(-0.15)
Industrial 25
76434.98
(-0.16)
Resource 10
51142.00
(+2.00)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'm not really directly affected
18% - 1656 votes
I am taking a hit, but should be able to recover in the next year
23% - 2176 votes
My finances have been devastated
34% - 3234 votes
It's still too early to know what the full effect will be
25% - 2355 votes
Vote