Zuma and son must testify at inquiry - DA

Duduzane Zuma. (Brendan Croft, Beeld)
Duduzane Zuma. (Brendan Croft, Beeld)

Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance (DA) says President Jacob Zuma and his son Duduzane must testify at the state capture inquiry, now that the terms of references have been released.

Zuma's terms for the inquiry were finally published and released in the Government Gazette on Thursday.

In it, he wants the inquiry to investigate all forms of government corruption, including allegations against him, his Cabinet ministers, the Gupta family and state-owned entities.

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

The DA said it was time for Zuma and those close to him be held accountable to the public.

"For years, President Zuma has been trying to frustrate efforts to hold him accountable," DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach said in a statement.

"In addition to members of the Gupta family, we expect to see President Zuma and his son Mr Duduzane Zuma summoned to testify before the commission, as they too have been directly implicated in the public protector's report, along with all others implicated, including Cabinet members."

Breytenbach said they were happy that Zuma "resisted the temptation to meddle" and that the inquiry will be free to look at his alleged role in facilitating state capture.

"However, we urge the Deputy Chief Justice to release interim reports to enable the relevant institutions of the criminal justice system to deal with matters as soon as prima facie evidence of criminal activity has been established.

"For too long the Gupta family has had a stranglehold over the South African government, and particularly over President Zuma."

'Rude awakening'

In the nine-page document, Zuma said the commission must probe whether attempts were made to influence members of the national executive, including deputy ministers, office bearers and directors of the boards of SOEs.

It must also look at the claims made by former deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas and former MP Vytjie Mentor about the Gupta family.

Mentor on Thursday posted on Facebook: "I am studying the terms of reference. I am happy, but need to check if there are any [loopholes] etc."

Meanwhile, the United Democratic Movement said it was time South Africa "lanced this boil" and got to the bottom of the allegations.

It wished the commission, headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, the best of luck in the six months it has to carry out its work.

"The UDM wonders who else will go down on the sinking Zupta ship. Who also had their hands in the cookie jar? The nation might be in for a rude awakening. Let’s hope for the best."

Criminal prosecutions

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services also welcomed the release of the terms of reference.

Committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga said the committee was also pleased that criminal prosecutions, where warranted, can flow from the process.

Earlier on Thursday, the ANC said the commission must get going without further delay.

Outgoing ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa told News24 that the allegations have "left a black spot on our government and our country".

READ: ANC calls for speedy start to state capture inquiry

The Office of the Public Protector said it has not yet considered the full terms, but it was not necessary to comment on the process any further.

The commission has 180 days in which to carry out its work.

It must also probe if any member of the executive unlawfully, corruptly or improperly intervened in the closing of the Guptas' bank accounts.

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