Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Protector asks Zuma to widen terms of inquiry into state capture

Protector asks Zuma to widen terms of inquiry into state capture

She said the president should ensure that the commission head, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, had the power to expand the issues to be investigated should any relevant evidence of state capture be brought to him during the inquiry.

She has called on Zuma to ensure the terms of reference are broad enough to include the capture of all state institutions and state-owned entities (SOEs).

Similar sentiments were expressed by President Zuma during his announcement of the appointment of the inquiry.

The North Gauteng High Court ordered at the end of past year that the commission be set up within 30 days and the judge selected exclusively by Mogoeng, due to Zuma's conflict of interest.

Zuma says while he has "reservations" about the legality of North Gauteng High Court directive that Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng appoint the judge, he has decided the state capture inquiry "deserves urgent attention".

Mr Ramaphosa won a narrow victory against Mr Zuma's preferred candidate, his ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in part by pledging to combat corruption.

South Africa's main oppostion Democratic Alliance (DA) cheered the creation of the probe.

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Zuma's reputation and that of his African National Congress party have suffered greatly due to the allegations, and calls have been mounting on him to resign. The Zondo Commission has to work along the lines of compliance with the recommendations and findings of the report from the former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, commented Neeshan Balton, the Foundation's Executive Director.

Maimane added: "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".

"However, I am taking further legal advice on the prosecution of this appeal".

Zuma has come under increased pressure in recent months, with supporters of new ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa calling for him to be recalled as head of state before his term ends in 2019.

In his goodbye speech as ANC leader last month, the 75-year-old Zuma acknowledged "failures" that have threatened the party's future and said greed was posing a serious threat. "The Foundation urges the newly elected ANC NEC - who despite not discussing the issue at their most recent meeting - to take a decision to recall Zuma as president of the country".

The Constitutional Court had ruled almost two weeks ago that MPs failed to hold Zuma accountable for the millions in public money used to upgrade his personal residence.

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