South Africa's state capture inquiry targets revealed

Thursday January 25 2018

South African President Jacob Zuma. The

South African President Jacob Zuma. The country’s commission of inquiry into state capture will probe whether President Zuma was involved in awarding unlawful tenders to the controversial Gupta family. FILE PHOTO | AFP PHOTO | STRINGER 

By PETER DUBE
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South Africa’s commission of inquiry into state capture will probe whether President Jacob Zuma or cabinet ministers considered close to him were involved in awarding unlawful tenders to the controversial Gupta family.

The terms of reference for the inquiry, published on Thursday by the Department of Justice and Correctional Services in the Government Gazette, have a particular focus on the Guptas' business dealings.

Most of the nine points deal specifically with allegations contained in the Public Protector’s State of Capture report.

The commission must investigate whether and to what extent attempts were made, to influence members of the national executive, including deputy ministers, office bearers and directors of the boards of State Owner Enterprises, to give business to the Gupta family.

"The commission must investigate the veracity of allegations that former deputy minister of Finance Mcebisi Jonas and former member of Parliament Vytjie Mentor were offered cabinet positions by the Gupta family," read the terms of reference.

Zuma’s key decisions

The Guptas are accused of having a hand in some of President Zuma’s key decisions, including the appointment of members of his executive and the running of state-owned enterprises.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng was recently appointed the chair of the inquiry following a recommendation by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

Justice Mogoeng appointed Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to lead the commission.

On Tuesday, Justice Zondo told journalists that he was eagerly awaiting the finalisation of the terms of reference of a commission of inquiry into state capture. He is now expected to appoint staff to help him.

Justice Zondo said the allegations being dealt with were of a "very‚ very serious nature in our country".

Legal competence

The Justice Department said the terms of reference would be followed by the release of regulations that give the commission the legal competence to conduct the investigation.

The department added that the regulations include the power of the chairperson to subpoena witnesses and of search and seizure.