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Zondo commission a year later, Guptas still yet to testify

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo kicked off proceedings at the state capture commission of inquiry in Parktown on this day last year.

FILE: Deputy Chief Justice Zondo during the first public hearing on state capture allegations in Johannesburg on 20 August 2018. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - A year into the establishment of the state capture commission, concerns are being raised about the effectiveness of the inquiry.

The Zondo Commission of Inquiry was set up by former President Jacob Zuma after a directive from the High Court to probe allegations of fraud and corruption in the public service following claims of the Gupta family’s undue influence on the state.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo kicked off proceedings at the state capture commission of inquiry in Parktown on this day last year.

A year later, and a lot has happened.

Some are now facing corruption charges, others have lost their jobs, some companies have been brought to their knees and the African National Congress has been left deeply divided.

The first witness at the commission was Treasury’s acting chief procurement officer Willie Mathebula, who detailed weaknesses in the procurement system leading to corruption in the issuing of tenders.

Key witnesses that followed included Nhlanhla Nene, Mcebisi Jonas, Pravin Gordhan, and Vytjie Mentor.

But more shocking was the testimony of former Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi who exposed corruption between the company and government employees.

And then the time came for Zuma to respond for the first time under oath to questions about his role in state capture.

“It [state capture] is an exaggeration, it is meant to enhance this narrative against Zuma,” he said.

A year later and there are calls for the scope of the inquiry to be extended. But the question remains, will the inquiry ever hear from those accused of capturing the state, the Guptas?

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