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Allegations of corruption, irregularity and personal enrichment are widespread across South Africa and run deep. That is the over-riding message contained in the 350-plus pages of the State Capture report that President Jacob Zuma didn’t want the world to see. Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela made a start at testing allegations of state capture, but has admitted in this report that the task was so huge that she could only scratch the surface. The report contains names that have popped up repeatedly in the headlines wherever there is the stench of graft – from Zuma’s family and the Gupta brothers from India to Eskom boss Brian Molefe and others installed across state-owned entities. Madonsela has recommended a Commission of Inquiry. Unfortunately the President has the power to appoint the commission of inquiry in terms of the Constitution. It remains to be seen whether he will take this step. Most likely he will make another move to put off the inevitable – his ejection from power. His office has already indicated it may take action in court after reading the full report. South Africans are growing increasingly frustrated about the performance of the Zuma government. He has lost support fast across the ANC. But, with criminal charges hanging over him, he is likely to keep fighting. The state capture report may be a start to removing Zuma from office, but it is only likely to be the beginning of the next road in that journey. – Jackie Cameron
State of Capture report
(xxxi) The appropriate remedial action I am taking in pursuit of section 182(1)(c) of the Constitution, with the view of placing the Complainant as close as possible to where he would have been had the improper conduct or maladministration not occurred, while addressing systemic procurement management deficiencies in the Department, is the following:
(a) The investigation has proven that the extent of issues it needs to traverse and resources necessary to execute it is incapable of being executed fully by the Public Protector. This was foreshadowed at the commencement of the investigation when the Public Protector wrote to government requesting for resources for a special investigation similar to a commission of inquiry overseen by the Public Protector. This investigation has been hamstrung by the late release which caused the investigation to commence later than planned. The situation was compounded by the inadequacy of the allocated funds (R1.5m).
(b) The President has the power under section 84(2)(f) of the Constitution to appoint commissions of enquiry however, in the EFF Vs Speaker of Parliament the President said that:
“I could not have carried out the evaluation myself lest I be accused of being judge and jury in my own case”
(c) The President to appoint, within 30 days, a commission of inquiry headed by a judge solely selected by the Chief Justice who shall provide one name to the President.
(d) The judge to be given the power to appoint his/her own staff and to investigate all the issues using the record of this investigation and the report as a starting point.
(e) The President to ensure that the commission is adequately resourced, in conjunction with the National Treasury.
(f) The commission of inquiry to be given powers of evidence collection that are no less than that of the Public Protector.
(g) The commission of inquiry to complete its task and to present the report with findings and recommendations to the President within 180 days. The President shall submit a copy with an indication of his/her intentions regarding the implementation to Parliament within 14 days of releasing the report.
(h) Parliament to review, within 180 days, the Executive Members’ Ethics Act to provide better guidance regarding integrity, including avoidance and management of conflict of interest. This should clearly define responsibilities of those in authority regarding a proper response to whistleblowing and whistleblowers. Consideration should also be given to a transversal code of conduct for all employees of the State.
(i) The President to ensure that the Executive Ethics Code is updated in line with the review of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act.