We have 'valuable evidence' - DA requests participation in state capture inquiry

President Jacob Zuma (File)
President Jacob Zuma (File)

Johannesburg – The DA has formally requested to participate in the commission of inquiry into state capture which was announced by President Jacob Zuma last month.

The opposition party has written to Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who was recommended by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng to head the commission, to seek permission to be part of the inquiry that is set to be based on a report by former public protector Thuli Madonsela.

ALSO READ: The Free State can now 'rid itself of corruption' – DA after raid on Magashule's office

The terms of reference released last week are expected to guide the investigation into allegations that there was an improper relationship between Zuma and his friends, the Gupta family.

News24 reported that, making the announcement, the president said he was "guided by the [former] Public Protector's State of Capture report, the Constitution, relevant legislation, policies and guidelines".

The DA's federal council chairperson, James Selfe, said the party made the request on the basis that it had direct interest in the proceedings of the commission as one of three complainants to the Public Protector in 2016.

'Mammoth task'

"The deputy chief justice and his team have a mammoth task ahead of them as they begin the long overdue process of investigating the allegations of state capture against President Jacob Zuma, the Guptas and their associates," Selfe said in a statement on Thursday.

"The DA is of the belief that we can make valuable contributions to the commission, as we can share valuable evidence and shed more light on the extent of corruption within the ANC government," he said.

ALSO READ: Zuma and son must testify at inquiry - DA

Selfe said the party was aware of and respected the major logistical and administrative considerations that would come with a commission of such magnitude.

"We trust that the deputy chief justice will consider our request and we await his favourable response thereto," he said.

Last week, Madonsela told News24 that the terms of reference were too broad and that it would take "a lifetime" for one commission to probe all government corruption.

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