Ramaphosa vows to appear before Zondo Commission into State Capture

President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: Siyabulela Duda / File

President Cyril Ramaphosa says he will appear before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry so that he can answer questions about what he knew and didn’t know about state capture and the Gupta’s influence on the state when he was deputy president of both the ANC and the country.

Ramaphosa said he would go to the Zondo inquiry to give an account because if he answers in public about what he did to stop state capture people would not believe him.

“One can cite a whole range of instances where one sought to take a different approach [from those involved in state capture] and the approach did not succeed‚ but people will still remain unbelieving. They will still say‚ ‘We don’t believe you’‚” he said.

The president was fielding questions from foreign journalists in Rosebank on Thursday evening.

"In time I guess I am going to be required to appear before the commission to answer certain things as former deputy president‚ both in the state and in the party‚ and also [now] as president of the ANC‚” he said.

Ramaphosa said people should be patient with the commission because it was the best place to get to the heart of state capture.

The DA has placed pressure on Ramaphosa to answer before the commission as he was the second in charge when much of the alleged corruption occurred.

Ramaphosa lamented the weakening of the prosecutorial capabilities of the state as a result of state capture and said people want to see people implicated to be arrested‚ charged‚ found guilty and then sent to jail.

When asked about how he planned to deal with home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba after the Public Protector found he violated the constitution and the executive members’ ethics code‚ Ramaphosa said he was still studying the report.

“The report just hit my desk… I am going to read that report and apply my mind‚” he said.

On Wednesday Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane agreed with the courts that Gigaba had lied under oath about approving the Oppenheimer's private Fireblade facility at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.She has ordered Ramaphosa to take action against Gigaba within two weeks.

Gigaba’s woes are far from over. On Thursday‚ the Constitutional Court dismissed his application for leave to appeal against a lower court ruling that he lied under oath in the Fireblade case.

"The Constitutional Court has considered the applications for condonation and leave to appeal. It has concluded that the application for condonation should be granted‚ but that the application for leave to appeal should be dismissed as it bears no prospects of success‚" ruled the court.