As one of the two original complainants in the matter, I have today received a copy of the Public Protector’s report into State Capture in South Africa, entitled “State of Capture” (download here).
The release of the report is another victory for the Constitution, the rule of law, and the fight against corruption and state capture by the Jacob Zuma and the ANC.
Following the findings in this report, Jacob Zuma should do the honourable thing and resign. Given the scale of the state capture that is detailed in the report, which he has allowed and indeed fostered, he cannot continue in office. The Zuma presidency has been a blight on South Africa – only his resignation can help repair the damage he has caused.
The report finds evidence of significant wrongdoing, improper influence, conflicts of interest and outright corruption – much of which is new information, and all of which points directly to President Zuma, Duduzane Zuma and the Guptas. The manner in which Jacob Zuma has conducted himself is completely dishonourable and unbecoming of the nation’s President. He has actively tried to delay the release of this report, disrespected the Office of the Public Protector, and wasted millions of rands of public money in frivolous litigation.
On our initial reading of the report, we welcome the remedial action which requires the President to appoint, within 30 days, a commission of inquiry headed by a judge selected by the Chief Justice.
We welcome the remedial action requiring the Public Protector, in terms of section 6 (4) (c) (i) of the Public Protector Act, to bring to the notice of the National Prosecuting Authority and the DPCI those matters identified in this report where it appears crimes have been committed.
The most pertinent findings by the Public Protector’s report include:
• President Zuma improperly and in violation of the Executive Ethics Code, allowed members of the Gupta family and his son, Duduzane Zuma, to be involved in the process of removal and appointment of the Minister of Finance in December 2015;
• Deputy Minister Jonas was offered a job by the Gupta family in exchange for extending favours to their family business;
• Minister Van Rooyen – who replaced Minister Nene – can be placed at the Saxonwold area on at least seven occasions including on the day before he was announced as Minister;
• That between the period 2 August 2015 and 22 March 2016, Eskom CEO Brain Molefe has called Mr Ajay Gupta a total of 44 times and Mr Ajay Gupta has called Mr Molefe a total of 14 times;
• The Eskom board was improperly appointed;
• Zuma and the Executive failed to take action to verify Ms Mentor’s allegations, as well as Mr Maseka’s allegations, as well as regarding the alleged cozy relationship between Brian Molefe and the Guptas;
• President Zuma and other Cabinet members improperly interfered in the relationship between banks and Gupta owned companies;
• President Zuma improperly and in violation of the Executive Ethics Code used his position or information entrusted to him to enrich himself and businesses owned by the Gupta family and his son to be given preferential treatment in the award of state contracts, business financing and trading licences;
• The South African people were prejudiced by the conduct of President Zuma, in not following up on Jonas’s allegations;
• Minister Zwane’s trip to Switzerland was irregular;
• Eskom’s awarding of the coal contract to Tegeta was irregular;
• That government advertising was deliberately channeled to the Gupta’s newspaper, the New Age;
• That the President may have been in breach of his legal duties in failing to investigate these matters or put act against them.
If Zuma will not resign, we look forward to the DA’s Motion of No Confidence in President Zuma being debated in Parliament in the coming weeks. This affords Parliament the opportunity to end Jacob Zuma’s disastrous presidency by relieving him of his duties once and for all. This report gives additional weight to this Motion of No Confidence, and there is no reasonable excuse for the ANC in Parliament to reject this motion in support of Jacob Zuma.
Today our democracy has shown to be working. The people have spoken, the judiciary has acted, and were are one step closer to ending state capture and corruption by the ANC, once and for all.