Ramaphosa praises media for 'patriotic role' in investigating state capture

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President Cyril Ramaphosa appears on behalf of the ANC at the Zondo Commission.
President Cyril Ramaphosa appears on behalf of the ANC at the Zondo Commission.
Themba Hadebe
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa appeared for a second day at the Zondo Commission.
  • He is appearing in his capacity as ANC president and not as the leader of the country. 
  • He commended the media for playing a "patriotic role" in investigating allegations of state capture. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa commended the role the media played in probing allegations of state capture and bringing such issues to light.

"I will commend the role of the media; the media has played a phenomenal role in investigating state capture, bringing it to light and continuously reporting on it," he said on Thursday. 

"At times, as politicians, we don't always believe what the media writes because we look at what they write through a particular prism or lens. But, in this regard, I have to commend them for the phenomenal role that they played. And I would say they played the patriotic role. Possibly, I've never, ever said patriotic role, but I'm prepared to say it now."

Ramaphosa was testifying before the State Capture Inquiry, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

He is appearing as ANC president and not as the country's leader.

He also said the media "often makes us uncomfortable as politicians - but, in this case, we will applaud them".

Ramaphosa said this while answering questions relating to what the ANC did when there were a host of allegations regarding the interference of the Guptas in government affairs.

READ | There was a delay in ANC acting on allegations of state capture - Ramaphosa tells inquiry

Evidence leader, advocate Alec Freund, asked Ramaphosa about a 2011 Sunday Times article, which reported that the Gupta family had so much power that they summoned several senior officials to their Saxonwold home. They also appeared to influence the hiring and firing of officials.

Ramaphosa said there was a "dropping of the ball" in its failure to investigate allegations of state capture.

He also conceded there was a delay with regard to the party acting on allegations of state capture.

Ramaphosa conceded that, for five years, Parliament failed to act on allegations and media reports about the interference of the Guptas in government affairs.

"I accept, and I concede," he told the commission.

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