Zuma appoints commission to probe state capture claims

Zuma appoints commission to probe state capture claims

Those who want his removal have been arguing that one of the reasons he should be recalled is his failure to appoint the state capture commission of inquiry.

In a volte-face on Tuesday, Mr Zuma appointed the country's deputy chief justice to lead the inquiry, having resisted calls for more than a year from a government ombudsman, the courts, and the ANC itself to set up the investigation.

Maimane pointed out that Zuma was still the subject of legal scrutiny after the North Gauteng High Court recently rejected his legal challenge to the public protector's state capture report‚ which had called for a commission of inquiry to be established.

The announcement has sparked comments and conversation on Twitter.

Because the State of Capture report prescribes that its contents should be the basis for the investigation, the SACP said "it would be inappropriate" for Zuma to decide the terms of reference for an investigation into allegations in which he is implicated.

BLSA also questioned the timing of the President's decision, noting that it had been carried out just weeks after the African National Congress's (ANC's) fifty-fourth National Conference and a day before the first meeting of the new ANC National Executive Committee. We are relieved that the latest court ruling by Judge President Dunston Mlambo finally ordered the President to pay the cost of litigation from his own pocket.

While the president has appealed the cost order and the judgment regarding the duties of the president to appoint commissions, he said in a statement on Tuesday he is taking further legal advice on this.

"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", he adds.

The inquiry into state capture - when private interests are able to dictate parts of government policy in accordance with their interests - will be directed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo after his recommendation from Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

"I have decided that‚ while the issues determined by the order require final determination by higher courts‚ this matter (state capture) can not wait any longer".

According to Saxby, "in saying "there should be no area of corruption and culprit that should be spared the extent of this commission of inquiry", Zuma appears to have left the door open to an all-encompassing inquiry that could stretch back to corruption in the apartheid era".

"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".

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