‘Ramaphosa has constitutional powers to implement state capture inquiry’

Legal expert Paul Hoffman says Cyril Ramaphosa has the power to institute a commission under the Constitution if the president can't.

FILE: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - With Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa calling for a commission of inquiry into state capture, a prominent law professor says Ramaphosa actually has the constitutional powers to implement such an inquiry.

Last week, Ramaphosa said he supports the establishment of the commission, saying the allegations could destroy the African National Congress if they’re not tested.

Legal expert Paul Hoffman says Ramaphosa has the power to institute a commission under the Constitution if the president is unable to act.

The Public Protector's State of Capture report, released last year, recommended the inquiry.

Hoffman says Ramaphosa must act because President Jacob Zuma has failed to do so.

“The Constitution says, when the president is unable to act, the deputy president must act in his place. He’s unable to act on the commission of inquiry because he is conflicted, therefore the deputy president must do so.”

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)