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DA writes to Zuma, demands details on state capture inquiry

President Zuma announced the establishment of the inquiry more than a week ago in compliance with an order by the High Court.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has written to President Jacob Zuma to demand that he urgently divulge the terms of reference for the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture.

Zuma announced the establishment of the inquiry more than a week ago in compliance with an order by the North Gauteng High Court.

DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe says South Africans have a right to know what will be investigated by the inquiry, which will be headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

“The longer this drags on and the longer the president uses technicalities to delay the appointment of the commission, there’s the prospect that witnesses could become less clear about what’s going on, evidence disappearing and the investigation being undermined.”

The party says if Zuma had respected the constitutional mandate of the Public Protector, the report on the findings of the judicial inquiry should have been finalised by June last year, a full seven months ago.

In a statement, the DA also criticises Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, saying she appears to be intent on sowing confusion by "contradicting" her predecessor’s findings and "obfuscating" the true purpose of the commission by calling for its scope to be widened – apparently at Zuma’s direction.

“Mkhwebane’s proposal is neither practical nor in the interests of justice as it might result in the commission sitting for years and being unable to complete its work because of an overly broad mandate.

“In our correspondence with the president, the DA reminded him that any attempt to water down the scope of the commission would be unlawful and undermine the powers of the Public Protector as per the Constitution.”

The DA says the commission must get to work urgently and probe the serious allegations of state capture lodged against President Zuma, his son Duduzane and the controversial Gupta brothers.

“The ongoing discussion about the terms of reference for the inquiry and Zuma’s repeated attempts to have the report reviewed have been nothing but delaying tactics. The reality is that the terms of reference are already established by the report, which must now simply be implemented.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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