President Jacob Zuma, in a surprise announcement last night, has set up a commission on inquiry into state capture.
The move comes after several court attempts to block the remedial action ordered by the Public Protector in the report “State of Capture” released more than a year ago, according to which the president should appoint a commission, with the head selected by the chief justice.
In December, the court ruled that the president must carry out the remedial action, and pay the costs of the case.
“I have appealed the cost order as well as the order regarding the duties of the president to appoint commissions of inquiry in terms of section 84 of the Constitution,” Zuma states. “However, I am taking further legal advice on the prosecution of this appeal. I am concerned that this matter has occupied the public mind for some time now and deserves urgent attention.
“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.
“It is of such serious public concern that any further delay will make the public doubt government’s determination to dismantle all forms of corruption, and entrench the public perception that the state has been captured by private interests for nefarious and self-enrichment purposes.
“The commission must seek to uncover not just the conduct of some, but of all those who may have rendered our state or parts thereof vulnerable to control by forces other than the public for which government is elected.
“There should be no area of corruption and culprit that should be spared the extent of this commission of inquiry.”
The chief justice, Mogoeng Mogoeng, has selected deputy chief justice Raymond Mnyamezeli Mlungisi Zondo to head up the commission. Zondo will appoint members of the commission.