Zuma must answer state capture claims against him, says NGO

Civil rights organisations, politicians and ordinary South Africans will be closely monitoring the inquiry which gets underway in Parktown at around ten o clock this morning.

FILE: Former South African President Jacob Zuma appeared in the Durban High Court on 8 June 2018. He is charged with 16 counts that include fraud‚ corruption and racketeering. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla/Pool

JOHANNESBURG – Legal experts say they hope the commission of inquiry into state capture will reveal specific details about the extent of alleged corruption and abuse of power at government entities now that politicians will have to testify under oath.

Civil rights organisations, politicians and ordinary South Africans will be closely monitoring the inquiry which gets underway in Parktown at around ten o clock this morning.

The Sunday Times on Sunday reported that Jacob Zuma was asked by commission chair Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to answer questions about his alleged involvement with the Gupta family.

Zuma has always maintained that he never used his friendship with the controversial family to enrich himself but it’s unclear whether he will appear before the commission.

But Advocate Paul Hoffman of NGO Accountability Now, says that the public needs to hear Zuma answer to the allegations against him, this time under oath.

“We’re dealing with a great amount of information in public domain. In October 2016, Thuli Madonsela went with a tape recorder to visit Jacob Zuma and Michael Hulley and asked the obvious questions about the capture of the state and he simply ducked and dived and refused to answer. We ask those questions again and insist he answers.”

Criminal law expert James Grant says he’s worried that the commission will not get to the truth of state capture.

“Primarily because of the regulations which are now in their second edition, and I think those setting us up for a challenge which will probably only be heard about in maybe six to 10 years’ time.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)