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WRAP | Zuma, Fraser protected each other; Duduzane was the Guptas' conduit; Ramaphosa should have done more

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22 June 22:10

22 June 21:56

Crime Intelligence | The production of "questionable" intelligence reports alleging that there were plans to overthrow Zuma, drafted by former CI boss Richard Mdluli to "remove people from their positions who stood in the way of state capture and looting of state resources" (including Minister Gordhan and his former deputy, Mcebisi Jonas), Zondo says these "false and unsubstantiated" reports could "destabilise the country".

Mechanisms needs to be in place to out these reports, as former president Nelson Mandela had himself previously done.

- Azarrah Karrim

22 June 21:51

President Ramaphosa | Zondo says the president should have known where funding for his CR17 campaign came from.

This after an acknowledgement that it did receive money from Bosasa, the corrupt former facilities manager.

"His repeated claim that he was in the dark about his campaign funding (‘Up to today I do not know how those funds had been managed I do not know the full facts because they have neutrally decided to keep it away from me.’)  has potentially troublesome implications.

"It was his responsibility to ensure that such funds were solicited and used transparently and accountably. By removing himself from the management of funds, he failed to fulfil this responsibility.

"This is made clear by the simple fact that his campaign not only accepted but solicited donations from individuals suspected to be involved in corrupt activities."

Pieter du Toit

22 June 21:47

22 June 21:42

Crime Intelligence | Zondo says, on Crime Intelligence, "who will guard the guardians themselves?

"Where state secrets fall under the control of scoundrels, as the present case makes clear, only strong oversight institutions can protect the public against the harm that such scoundrels can inflict by invoking, when their conduct is called into question, the very secrecy that should exist only for the public good".

As such, the IGI and the AG should be given access to relevant SSA records and to "the secret accounts referred to in this report".

All investigations into CI must continue without interference or obstruction and those investigators be given access by SAPS to all documents.

- Azarrah Karrim

22 June 21:39

Zondo calls for new inquiry into how SA's passenger rail was left on brink of collapse

The final report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture has recommended that a new probe be instituted to get to the bottom of why SA's state-run passenger rail agency was allowed to "slide into almost total ruin". 

Despite dedicating 250 pages to wrongdoing and failures at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), commission chair Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said that "much about the ills at Prasa has not yet been uncovered".

MORE HERE

22 June 21:34

The ANC | Recommendations by the governing party's deployment committee to any government official when making appointments in the public service may not be taken into account, and would be unlawful.

Zondo found that "the current constitutional and statutory framework" makes it "unlawful and unconstitutional" for anyone to adhere to what the ANC's deployment committee wants.

If anyone is appointed or promoted based on the whims of the deployment committee "this would be actionable as an unfair labour practice."

- Pieter du Toit

22 June 21:33

Waterkloof landing | Zondo finds that in light of the evidence and the background surveyed it was difficult to accept that former president Jacob Zuma did not know about the Waterkloof  landing before it happened.

“The probabilities are overwhelming that [former] president Zuma knew about the plans for a Gupta private aircraft to land at Waterkloof Military Air Base and had no objections to plans being implemented.

"In fact all indications are that he would have taken steps to have the landing of the private aircraft facilitated. If that is what the Guptas wanted from him, how could he not do it for them when the evidence has shown that he could fire his own comrades if that was what the Guptas wanted.”

- Juniour Khumalo

22 June 21:21

SSA | Zondo recommends that law enforcement agencies should conduct investigations with a view to the NPA possibly bringing criminal charges against: Arthur Fraser, for his role in the PAN programme as well as former state security minister David Mahlobo and former senior spy Thulani Dlomo, in connection with millions of rands in SSA cash they received and/or "illegitimately handled".

- Kyle Cowan

22 June 21:19

President Ramaphosa | Zondo casts serious doubt on Ramaphosa's explanations why he did not come out stronger and more publicly in resisting state capture.

Surely, despite what Ramaphosa says, there was enough evidence in the public domain about the Guptas and state capture as early as 2010?

And surely, as deputy president, he could have acted on this?

"As the deputy president, he surely had the responsibility to do so," says Zondo.

Ramaphosa's explanation that he was working from within to resist capture "suffers from his inability to provide any further examples of resistance."

Ramaphosa was unwilling to damage the ANC in public by going against it.

- Pieter du Toit

22 June 21:11

SABC | Zondo finds from the evidence relating to TNA and ANN7 that it is clear that Jacob Zuma was close to the Guptas and took an interest in their "ventures".

Further, Motsoeneng "saw himself (and probably was) the facilitator between President Zuma and at the very least the news section of the SABC", and while it is unclear whether it was to benefit Zuma, it did benefit the ANC and the Duduzane Zuma.

Zondo recommends that former SABC CEO Lulama Mokhobo and Motsoeneng be investigated for contraventions of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).

– Jan Gerber

22 June 21:06

President Ramaphosa | Ramaphosa's defence of his reappointment to the Cabinet of Arthur Fraser and David Mahlobo, despite the findings of the Mufamadi Panel into the SSA, was "concerning" says Zondo.

"It is difficult to understand how they could reasonably be considered suitable for appointment to senior positions in the state".

- Pieter du Toit

22 June 21:01

SABC | Former president Jacob Zuma breached the Constitution and the Executive Ethics Code and the Executive Members Ethics Act, Zondo found.

The Commission further recommends that the SABC institute proceedings to recover the R4.2 million it spent on broadcasting the Guptas' TNA breakfast briefings.

"At the very least, the investigating and prosecuting authorities should attempt to recover all the monies spent through unlawful and improper actions, if that can still be done. For instance, the R11 million 'success fee' should be recovered from Mr Motsoeneng."

– Jan Gerber

22 June 20:59

Zondo hopes to bulletproof appointments to state-owned companies

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture has tried to bulletproof the appointment directors of state-owned enterprises against political interference, recommending a statutory body be established to vet prospective candidates for suitable qualifications and integrity. 

Much of the looting in the state capture saga took place in state-owned enterprises.

The appointment of crony boards and top executives to state-owned companies by "shareholder ministers" made large-scale corruption easily possible. 

READ HERE

22 June 20:58

President Ramaphosa | Zondo says the president only took responsibility for events during state capture "partially and in the most general terms." 

At paragraph 622 in Part 6, Volume 2, he says Ramaphosa cannot simply look to the future.

"Ramaphosa was chairman of the deployment committee...many of these (state capture) deployments occurred during this period. Notably, this is also the period for which the party could produce no minutes or records."

- Pieter du Toit

22 June 20:57

Duduzane Zuma | The Zondo Commission found that former president Jacob Zuma's son, Duduzane, was the "conduit between the Guptas and government, particularly his father.

"He took part in awarding contracts of SOEs to Gupta-linked companies.  In several cases [he] was present when bribes were offered to individuals at the Guptas' Saxonwold residence."

The Commission recommends that the police investigates whether Duduzane Zuma had committed "any offence by facilitating acts of corruption or by facilitating bribes or by failing to report corruption that may have been committed in his presence by Mr Tony Gupta when he offered a bribe to Mr Mcebisi Jonas, Mr Mxolisi Dukwana and Mr Vusi Kona".

Duduzane Zuma currently lives between Dubai and Durban, where he is an ANC branch chairperson.

- Adriaan Basson

22 June 20:55

Gupta bank accounts | Chief Justice Raymond Zondo says the accusation that banks’ decision to close the Gupta bank accounts was made “to further the agenda of white monopoly capital” is entirely unjustified and there is no evidence to support that.

Zondo found that “there is no doubt” that former president Jacob Zuma wanted an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) that was looking at the closures to “come to the assistance of his friends, the Guptas”. 

The IMC at that time was chaired by former minister Mosebenzi Zwane.

“I have concluded [former] President Zuma and Mr Zwane misused their public power in an attempt to achieve a benefit for the Guptas, not because their case was a deserving one… but because of the power and influence which the Guptas were able to wield in the South Africa of those times.

“In my view this conduct… ought to be deplored and condemned both as a violation of the powers vested in [them] by the Constitution.”

-Ahmed Areff

22 June 20:53

State Capture: Chicken bribes, Zuma's defiance, 'shut up!' and other highlights remembered

The State Capture Inquiry has kept South Africans enthralled for the better part of the past four years.

On Wednesday, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo handed over the final instalment of the commission's report to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

WATCH HERE

22 June 20:47

SABC | Zondo found there can be no doubt that former president Jacob Zuma was in breach of the Executive Ethics Code in his dealing with TNA and ANN7.

"He as President, abused his office for his own benefit, that of his son and that of his friends, the Guptas.

"He placed himself in a situation of a conflict of interest and abused his position as President of the country."

Zondo found that the Gupta family and Duduzane Zuma benefitted from the relationship the Guptas had with Jacob Zuma in that they obtained state contracts, in particular with the SABC, "to the detriment of other potential competitors" in the media space.

"President Zuma enabled, indirectly, the members of the Gupta family as businesspeople to occupy a place of prominence over other businessmen, to the detriment of the empowerment legislative imperative of the Republic of South Africa."

Jan Gerber

22 June 20:43

Electoral reform | In a major finding and recommendation, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has proposed that South Africa's Constitution be amended to allow the direct election of the president.

"How did the country end up having as President someone who would act the way President Zuma acted? Someone that could remove as good a public servant as Mr Themba Maseko from his position just so that he could put someone else into that position who would cooperate with the Guptas and give them business.

"A President who would fire the Minister of Finance just because his friends wanted someone else in that position who would cooperate with his friends and help them to capture the country; National Treasury.

"Indeed, a President who became party to a scheme created by the Guptas to remove a number of executives from their positions at Eskom so that the Guptas could put their own associates in those positions so as to facilitate the looting of Eskom."

Zondo concludes that our electoral system is flawed because many people wanted to vote for the ANC but not for Zuma as president.

He recommends that the Van Zyl Slabbert report of 2003 on electoral reforms be revisited.

- Adriaan Basson

22 June 20:42

SSA | The former director general of the domestic branch, Gibson Njenje, led an internal SSA team that found evidence against Arthur Fraser relating to the PAN project worth an estimated R600 million - multiple properties, cars and computers were bought in support of the parallel intelligence structure, and ended up in the hands of "private individuals".

Njenje handed all of this information over to the Hawks and the NPA, but was instructed by then minister Cwele to halt the investigation which was "president Zuma's decision".

Cwele denies this, but Zondo finds the investigation was halted.

Zondo found that it was possible had the Hawks investigation proceeded, that Fraser may never have been appointed director general years later.

"Therein might lie the significance of stopping the investigations against him."

- Kyle Cowan

22 June 20:40

SABC | "I find the evidence of Ms Muthambi unconvincing to say the least. She knew quite well she had unauthorised communications with the Guptas, and for that reason did not disclose to the mentioned Court who she has consulted with."

Zondo rejects Muthambi's version that the Guptas were "innocent stakeholders".

"It is clear that she had abused her powers in a number of instances. In these circumstances the finding to make is that Ms Muthambi had unlawfully that confidential information with the Guptas and their associates.

"It was quite clear that she was doing so in order to talk to their friend, President Zuma, to ensure that she had certain powers as Minister of Communications. That means that, like Mr Mosebenzi Zwane, Ms Lynne Brown and Mr Malusi Gigaba, who were Gupta Minister, she too, was a Gupta Minister."

Muthambi is still an ANC MP.

– Jan Gerber

22 June 20:38

Gupta bank accounts | Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has found that it was clear “beyond any reasonable doubt” that the Guptas and their “politically connected enablers” embarked on a campaign to loot the state coffers, and “until the banks stopped them from doing so, were using the banks as their vehicles for this purpose”.

He said when the Gupta looting became notorious in the public sphere, banks were obliged by law to act against the Guptas.

“The banks should therefore not be criticised for acting against the Guptas. If anything, the three banks which delayed their closure decisions… might have been interrogated as to why it took them so long to act”

Ahmed Areff

22 June 20:36

Public funds diverted to the Guptas | Zondo cited the Nulane project in the Free State as an example of how the Guptas devised an array of schemes to fleece the public.

He said of the Nulane project: "The contract was irregularly awarded without any competitive bidding process and appears to have been designed primarily as a device to funnel Free State public funds into the Gupta Enterprise.

"Nulane was paid R24 million by the Free State Department of Agriculture. The only apparent deliverable work provided by Nulane to the Free State Department of Agriculture in respect of this contract appears to have been by Deloitte who concluded a subcontract with Nulane to provide consulting services on the core topics covered by the project.

"Deloitte received an amount of R1.5 from Nulane in relation to the free state project.

"Nulane thus earned a profit of R24.4 million on the project."

- Sipho Masondo

22 June 20:31

SSA | Zondo agrees with evidence led before the Commission that the stopping of the spy agency's investigation into the Guptas in 2011, by or at the behest of former president Zuma, was "if not the fundamental cause of state capture, certainly one of them".

- Kyle Cowan

22 June 20:27

President Ramaphosa | At paragraph 200 in Part 6, Vol. 2, Zondo makes some serious findings.

He says the president's testimony implied that capture was a political project, and then says this: "The natural conclusion is that, during this period, the most dominant political faction - the ANC under President Zuma - permitted, supported and enabled corruption and state capture." That is as damning an indictment of the ANC as you'll see.

- Pieter du Toit

22 June 20:25

SSA | On poor financial controls at the SSA, Zondo finds that Arthur Fraser, the former SSA director general, caused "a lot of cash to be withdrawn".

"After his appointment, budgetary allocations increased from about R42 million in 2016/2017 financial year to about R303 million in the 2017/2018 financial year. Approximately 74% (R225 million) was used for covert operations from his office."

According to investigators from Project Veza, R125 million was still unaccounted for by Fraser.

- Kyle Cowan

22 June 20:24

SABC | Former communications minister Faith Muthambi should be referred to the National Prosecuting Authority as her actions were in contravention of the Constitution and her oath of office, as well as the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act, the commission found.

– Jan Gerber

22 June 20:23

SABC | The Commission found it is "most probable" that former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng's "gross abuse of power at the SABC, including diverting public resources vested in the SABC to benefit the Guptas' rival media company", appears to have been sanctions by state capture era communications minister Faith Muthambi and former president Jacob Zuma.

– Jan Gerber

22 June 20:23

PUBLIC FUNDS DIVERTED TO THE GUPTAS | On how the Guptas captured the state, Zondo says: "From at least 2011 onwards, government departments and SOE’s were targeted for capture by the Gupta Enterprise.

"This led to the awarding of a vast array of contracts and the payment of billions of rand to entities paying kickbacks to, or controlled by, the Gupta Enterprise."

- Sipho Masondo

22 June 20:21

Prasa | Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has recommended that a commission of inquiry be appointed to investigate why Prasa was allowed to slide into “almost total ruin”, who should be held accountable for that and who could have benefitted from the “unacceptable state of affairs” at the state-owned entity.

Zondo said he was left with the “uneasy perception” that much of the ills at Prasa have not been uncovered as yet, and that if he did not make the recommendation for a new inquiry “it is unlikely that Prasa will recover”.

-Ahmed Areff

22 June 20:20

Major findings against former president Jacob Zuma and former SSA boss Arthur Fraser who, according to Judge Zondo, had a mutually beneficial relationship to keep each other out of prison.

Zondo finds that Zuma protected Fraser by instructing the Hawks, through former intelligence minister Siyabonga Cwele, to cease an investigation into Fraser's Principal Agents Network (PAN). Zuma said it would "compromise national security" to charge Fraser.

In exchange, Zondo argues, Fraser, as commissioner of prisons, released Zuma on medical parole "under questionable circumstances and against the recommendations of the Parole Board".

This is a powerful conclusion: "The picture emerges that Mr Zuma put a stop to an investigation that could well have led to Mr Fraser's arrest, prosecution and maybe imprisonment and Mr Fraser put a stop to Mr Zuma's continued incarceration despite the fact that Mr Zuma's incarceration was in terms of an order of the Constitutional Court."

- Adriaan Basson

22 June 20:17

Prasa | The Commission has recommended that police institute a raft of investigations against former leaders at the state-run rail agency. 

Zondo has asked for Prasa’s former CEO, Lucky Montana, to be probed, together with the most of agency’s former board involved in awarding contracts to Swifambo Rail Leasing and Siyangena.

The Chief Justice has also blasted Parliament for not conducting effective oversight over the passenger rail agency.

-Jan Cronje

22 June 20:16

State Security Agency | Zondo finds that the new intelligence structure created by Zuma, which included a doctrinal shift away from "national security" to "state security", in 2009, resulted in a shift for the civilian intelligence arm away from "the spirit, philosophy and some principles of the Intelligence White Paper, which were reflected in the Constitution."

- Kyle Cowan

22 June 20:15

SABC | Dealing with the launch of the Guptas' television station, ANN7, Zondo says: "It is most painful to learn from someone from another country who came to our country and did the things that the Gupta family members did to us as South Africans in this country came to the conclusion that South African officials not only can be bribed but can be bribed by a free meal or a drink.

"That's how low the Guptas thought of us as South Africans. It must be because of the experience they gained from those South Africans with whom they had intimate dealings.

"Among them is obviously Mr Jacob Zuma. I cannot help but remember Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng's evidence in regard to the SABC and MultiChoice contract because in his evidence Mr Motsoeneng told the Commission how he enjoyed curry at the Gupta residence."

– Jan Gerber

22 June 20:13

Prasa | The Zondo Commission has found that the significant evidence before it on the Passenger Rail Agency (Prasa) shows that it was indeed a victim of state capture, that its procurement processes were “suspect at best”, and that former CEO Lucky Montana “appears to have been a significant role player at Prasa in its capture and in determining which service providers would be allocated major tenders, such as the acquisition of locomotives.”

- Ahmed Areff

22 June 20:11

State Security Agency | Chief Justice Zondo recommends that the Hawks reopen their investigation into Arthur Fraser for running an off-the-books intelligence operation called the Principal Agents Network (PAN).

The investigation was stopped by Zuma because it would "compromise national security" - a nonsense argument, according to Zondo.

"The allegations are serious; they point to a massive abuse of the assets of the SSA, such as the purchase of some 300 vehicles now idling all over Gauteng, and many houses registered in the names of individuals".

R125 million is still unaccounted for.

Fraser should be criminally charged if enough evidence is gathered, Zondo recommends.

- Adriaan Basson

22 June 19:58

Arthur Fraser's prosecution for alleged criminal activity in relation to the shadowy Principle Agent Network more than a decade ago, which Zondo finds was halted by Zuma and Cwele, should be revisited.

Zondo says it is unclear why the National Prosecuting Authority did not proceed with Fraser's prosecution.

- Kyle Cowan

22 June 19:57

The Zondo Commission found no evidence of fraud or corruption in MultiChoice's lobbying of the government regarding its Set Top Box (STB) policy.

- Jan Gerber

22 June 19:56

The final part of the Zondo Report is scathing of the ANC's role in enabling state capture. It analyses cadre deployment, its effect on the hollowing out of state institutions and the party's refusal to act when it became clear that the Guptas and Zuma were working together.

At paragraph 733 in part 6, volume 2, Zondo says the ANC should have realised what was afoot after the Guptas' abuse of the Waterkloof Air Force Base in 2013.

If the ANC acted, it would have saved South Africa "billions of rands".

- Pieter du Toit

22 June 19:51

Zondo has found that former state security minister Siyabonga Cwele and former president Jacob Zuma halted an investigation into the Gupta family and their relationship with Zuma by the State Security Agency.

"It is further the Commission's finding that president Zuma did not want the Guptas to be investigated. President Zuma defended his friendship with the Guptas and their close association with him."

- Kyle Cowan

22 June 19:41

22 June 19:33

A final light moment here at the handover, a photographer asked the president to take a step down.

In light of the calls for him to step down or step aside, I joked that he has been asked to step down.

He animatedly stepped down saying he has complied with calls.

- Qaanitah Hunter

22 June 19:32

The entire state capture inquiry team, with President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele.

- Junior Khumalo

<p>The entire state capture inquiry team, with President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele.</p><p>- <em>Junior Khumalo</em></p>

22 June 19:30

22 June 19:30

And we wrap up. Now to read the report!

- Karyn Maughan

22 June 19:29

Zondo says he believes that, should the recommendations of the State Capture Inquiry be implemented, they will significantly address state capture corruption.

- Karyn Maughan

22 June 19:28

Zondo says the recommendation and findings will not ensure that state capture does not ever happen again but it’s a little contribution towards ensuring that there is no repeat of such.

- Juniour Khumalo

22 June 19:26

COMMENT: Let us not forget that it was the decision by Chief Justice Zondo that led to the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma.

He says he doesn't regret any decision taken which included seeking a jail term for the former president. He says when he reflects, he would make those decisions again.

- Qaanitah Hunter

22 June 19:24

Asked if he had any regrets about the work done by his Commission, Zondo says he believes that one should always be open to admitting that one has made a mistake.

That being said, he says, "I struggle to find any decision that I regret".

He adds that he would probably make the same decisions again.

- Karyn Maughan

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