FULL TEXT | 'State capture was an assault on our democracy' - Ramaphosa

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"State capture was an assault on our democracy and violated the rights of every man, woman and child in this country", said President Cyril Ramaphosa as he was handed the much anticipated final report of the State Capture Inquiry.

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, Minister in the Presidency, Mr Mondli Gungubele, Secretary of the Commission, Prof Itumeleng Mosala, Director-General in the Presidency, Ms Phindile Baleni, colleagues, members of the media, fellow South Africans.

Today we receive and publicly release the final part of the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector. 

The commission was appointed to investigate the corruption that took place during the state capture era. 

State capture was an assault on our democracy and violated the rights of every man, woman and child in this country. Through the various reports released by the commission, we have come to understand what happened, who was involved, and what effect state capture has had on our state, our economy and our society. Close on six years have passed since former Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela released her 'State of Capture' report. 

The State of Capture report presented evidence of the abuse of power and of how public institutions were repurposed to enable corrupt activities to take place. Recognising that this evidence required far more extensive investigation, Adv Madonsela included among the remedial action in her report that a judicial commission of inquiry be established to investigate state capture. 

AS IT HAPPENED | 'There were days where I wasn't sure this day would come' Zondo says of State Capture final report handover

The formal handover today of this final report represents the fulfilment of the remedial action set out in the State of Capture report. The work of this commission is a vital part of our effort to deal with state capture. 

The report is far more than a record of widespread corruption, fraud and abuse; it is also an instrument through which the country can work to ensure that such events are never allowed to happen again. 

As a nation, we owe a great debt of gratitude to the chairperson of the commission, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, for the monumental task that he and the evidence leaders, the investigators, the lawyers and the researchers have all undertaken over these past four years in the service of their country. 

I also wish to thank the secretary of the commission, Prof Itumeleng Mosala, and the other commission staff for the valuable contribution they have made to the national effort to confront state capture. 

I wish to thank the many people who gave evidence before the commission, and to the whistleblowers, academics, investigators and journalists whose work contributed to uncovering many of the matters before the commission. 

I wish to acknowledge the critical contribution of Adv Thuli Madonsela, whose courageous and unflinching investigation set in motion the process to uncover these misdeeds. The submission of the final report today brings to an end the work of the commission and marks the fulfilment of the weighty mandate given to Chief Justice Zondo in January 2018.

In line with the directive of the High Court, within four months from this date, I will formally present to Parliament the full report of the commission, together with an indication of my intentions on the implementation of the commission's recommendations.

We have arranged for the administrative work needed to secure the archive of the work done by the commission, and ensure relevant institutions have access to the extensive evidence it has collected. 

This final report will be available tonight for download on the Presidency's website, as was the case with the previous reports. This report provides us with the opportunity to make a decisive break with the era of state capture. 

I call on you, one and all, to support the measures that all the structures of state will take to return our country to the path of integrity, transformation and progress. I thank you.

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