President Jacob Zuma announced the appointment of a commission of inquiry into state capture on Tuesday evening.
“The allegations that the state has been wrestled out of the hands of its real owners‚ the people of South Africa‚ is of paramount importance and are therefore deserving of finality and certainty‚” Zuma said in a statement issued by the Presidency.
“It is of such serious public concern that any further delay will make the public doubt government’s determination to dismantle all forms of corruption‚ and entrench the public perception that the state has been captured by private interests for nefarious and self-enrichment purposes.”
Zuma said he made this decision after the investigation and remedial action of the Public Protector and the order by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on December 14 last year.
The court ordered Zuma to appoint a commission within 30 days that must be selected by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. He selected Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to lead the commission.
“I would like to emphasise that I have faith in all the judges and their ability to execute their tasks with the requisite levels of fairness‚ impartiality and independence.”
Zuma said extra resources would be made available to the commission of inquiry.
“By making more resources available‚ it is my sincere hope that the commission‚ will be able to reach many of those areas of concern that may not have been reached by the Public Protector’s investigation‚ but form part of what she might have investigated‚ had she had sufficient resources to do so.”
The North Gauteng High Court ordered Zuma to personally pay the costs of the review of former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s recommendations on alleged state capture. Zuma wanted Madonsela’s remedial action set aside.
Madonsela released a report‚ titled State of Capture‚ in November last year concerning allegations of an improper relationship between Zuma‚ other state officials and the Gupta family.
The report recommended that‚ because Madonsela did not have enough funds to finalise the investigation‚ Zuma appoint a commission of inquiry to complete the investigation.
“I have appealed the cost order as well as the order regarding the duties of the President to appoint commissions of inquiry in terms of section 84 of the Constitution.”
Zuma said he was taking “further legal advice” on his appeal.
“I have decided that‚ while the issues determined by the order require final determination by higher courts‚ this matter (state capture) cannot wait any longer.”