Guptas: We've not been implicated in any wrongdoing
The State of Capture report implicates President Jacob Zuma in illegal activities related to the Gupta family.
JOHANNESBURG – The Gupta family has now reacted to the State of Capture report saying they acknowledge its release, but don’t feel they have been implicated in any wrongdoing.
Their lawyer Gert van der Merwe says the report has no conclusion and only recommends there be a commission of inquiry, which will give his clients a chance to clear their name.
The report implicates President Jacob Zuma in illegal activities related to the Gupta family.
It also implicates Cabinet ministers and parastatals.
Advocate Thuli Madonsela says that the investigation has proven that due to the extent of the issues raised in her report, the Public Protector can’t execute the investigation fully due to a lack of resources.
Madonsela recommended that the president appoint a commission of inquiry within 30 days, headed by a judge solely selected by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng who shall provide one name to the president.
She recommends that the National Treasury needs to ensure that the commission is adequately resourced, and the judge must be given the power to appoint his or her own staff to investigate all the issues using the record of this investigation and the report as a starting point.
The commission must also be given powers of evidence collection that are no less than those of the Public Protector.
Madonsela says the commission must give the President a report with recommendations and findings within 180 days.
The Presidency says President Jacob Zuma’s decision to withdraw his challenge to interdict the report was in the interest of justice.
It says he will now study the report.
Spokesman Bongani Nqulunga says, “He thought it was in the interest of justice, but he also wanted the matter to be resolved quite speedily. Now what he intends to do is to read the report and then take a decision on whether he think his rights have been breached or not.”
The African National Congress says it’s noted the release of the report and will respond on Thursday.
THE RAND REACTS TO PUBLIC PROTECTOR REPORT
The rand has also reacted to the state capture report, strengthening by around 2%.
The rand took a beating in December last year when the country was caught by surprise with the sacking of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.
The markets then went into free-fall after the announcement of Des van Rooyen as his replacement - with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) nosediving.
However, the reappointment of Pravin Gordhan helped to restore confidence.
But the rand battled to recover, dropping to a record low of 16.88 to the dollar in early January – along with 24.51 to the pound and 18.43 to the euro.
The months thereafter saw the rand recover slightly. However, the decision to charge Gordhan with fraud earlier this month once again saw the rand come under pressure.
But fast-forward to Tuesday and the local currency strengthened to levels previously seen in September last year.
Ratings agencies are still to respond to the Public Protector’s report, but economists hope that the rand will not lose these gains.
Read the full State of Capture report below: