Published: Thu, January 11, 2018
Markets | By Rosalie Gross

Zuma surprises SA, announces state capture commission

Zuma surprises SA, announces state capture commission

Zuma argued that only he had the right to appoint judicial commissions and decide on their terms of reference.

Zuma had initially gone to the court to challenge a report by the former public protector, which alleged that he had allowed a wealthy Indian business family known as the Guptas to "capture the state".

Zuma said Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo - who was selected by Mogoeng - would lead the commission.

This decision was made pursuant to the investigation and remedial action recommended by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela regarding allegations of state capture as well as a court order on this matter, Zuma said in a statement issued by his office.

Mkhwebane also called on Zuma to ensure 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".

"By making more resources available‚ it is my honest hope that the commission‚ will be able to reach many of those areas of concern that may not have been reached by the Public Protector's investigation‚ but form part of what she might have investigated‚ had she had sufficient resources to do so".

Ramaphosa was said to be negotiating Zuma's resignation as head of state.

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IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa in a statement cautioned Zuma to not try and "rewrite" or "revamp" the terms of reference for the commission of inquiry as they have already been succinctly spelt out by the Public Protector.

The president urged everyone to cooperate with the inquiry. "He should however not attempt to muddy the water in this commission in which he is directly implicated, and we would accordingly urge his refrain in this regard", said Hlengwa.

Maseko also testified to Madonsela that Zuma had personally called him asking him to direct Government Communication and Information Services business to the family.

The currency has traded in a narrow range in the week, leaning towards losses as it retraced the sharp gains in the final weeks of 2017 that saw it race to 2-1/2 year highs, ignoring a weak local economic outlook to outshine its EM peers.

"But this one is specifically about the Gupta family, the president and his son", said Madonsela.

"Such broad terms would have the potential to bog down the inquiry, rendering it ineffective, but whether Zuma will emerge from this week's ANC conference in East London with enough power to influence the terms of reference will be instructive", she said.

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