The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the eventual decision by President Jacob Zuma, after all his efforts to delay have failed, to appoint a Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, as per the Public Protector’s State of Capture Report. Zuma deserves no credit for this decision. His hand has been forced, as he knew he had no further avenue for delay.
As the initial complainant in the State of Capture report, we will closely monitor the Commission over the next 180 days. So as to not inhibit the ability of the Commission to uncover the full extent of State Capture in South Africa, its Terms of Reference must be framed as broadly as possible to include the following:
- The activities of the Gupta family and their relationship with President Zuma and his family;
- All dealings by Gupta-linked companies with the State, including all SOEs;
- The capture of state institutions, including SARS, the NPA and the Hawks; and
- Every other allegation outlined in the Public Protector’s State of Capture
Moreover, we call on all South Africans who have any evidence of State Capture and corruption in government to bring this information to light, in order for the Commission to conduct a thorough investigation and bring the truth into the light. Parliament must be equipped to deal with all national policies that have allowed State Capture to take root, and the Commission’s findings must be tabled before Parliament on completion.
We will not allow this Commission to be another whitewash that absolves all politically connected individuals from accountability, and where appropriate, prison. It must be properly staffed, fully funded and free from any and all political inference.
Lastly, this announcement does not let Jacob Zuma off the hook. Less than one month ago, the North Gauteng High Court rejected President Zuma’s baseless review of the Public Protector’s State of Capture report and its recommendations, and ordered him to personally pay back his legal costs. The Court unanimously found that Zuma’s conduct in trying to block the release of the State of Capture report was an “abuse of judicial process” and an attempt to “stymie the fulfilment of a constitutional obligation by the Office of the Public Protector”. He must be held accountable for such conduct.
Corruption robs our people of opportunity, and thus the Commission’s work is critical in advancing freedom for our people. The Commission is a step towards ridding the country of corruption, and must do its work without delay.