South Africa

DAYS OF ZONDO REACTIONS

Parties adopt watching brief on welcomed final report, while EFF declares Ramaphosa had ‘no moral authority’ to accept it

Illustrative image | Sources: From left: ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba on 21 June 2021. (Photo: Frennie Shivambu / Gallo Images) | Former Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane. (Photo: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Veli Nhlapo) | Former president Jacob Zuma's son Duduzane Zuma. (Photo: Thapelo Morebudi / The Sunday Times) | Former General Secretary of the ANC Ace Magashule. (Photo: Gallo Images/Volksblad/Mlungisi Louw) | Former SABC chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng. (Photo: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Thulani Mbele) | Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema. (Photo: Gallo Images/Luba Lesolle) | President Cyril Ramaphosa receives the fifth and final Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector including Organs of State Report at Union Buildings on June 22, 2022 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images / Alet Pretorius)

While many have welcomed the handover of the final report from the State Capture Commission, the EFF said President Cyril Ramaphosa had ‘no moral authority’ to accept it. 

With the State Capture Commission wrapping up its work and handing over the final report, ActionSA has said through a statement that they will be initiating a watching brief “to oversee that all those implicated in state capture are brought to justice”.

“We have no confidence in the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority] to perform their mandate and therefore, will act vigilantly to ensure justice is served. If necessary, we will even fight for this in the courts ourselves,” reads ActionSA’s statement. 

In the final report, former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng, former spy boss Arthus Fraser, and former president Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane were among the people the report said the NPA should consider for prosecution

Implicated party members should appear before Intergrity Commission

Other implicated ANC members include the party’s suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule and Mosebenzi Zwane. 

In a statement, the ANC — which has convened a special meeting of the National Executive Committee on Thursday evening — said that implicated party members should appear before the party’s Integrity Commission. 

“While nothing prevents an ANC member from exercising their legal rights with respect to the commission’s report, any review applications or other legal action should not prevent the ANC from continuing with its agreed internal process,” reads the ANC’s statement.

The final report, which was handed over after a long delay last night (22 June), deals with Prasa, the Gupta family’s landing at the Waterkloof military base, the SABC and the State Security Agency.  

It will take time 

Political party Good stated that South Africans’ patience with this process, the slight delay in the handing over of the final report, and our endurance of the era of capture and then the long and drawn out Commission’s hearings “can only be rewarded if the evidence of wrongdoing that has been heard and reported on is now actioned”.

The Democratic Alliance said that the commission laid bare “the ANC’s transition from liberation movement to champagne socialists, where billionaire cronies and the political elite care less for the plight of the South African people and more for their own, greedy interests”.

A ‘blueprint for intense legislative reform’

“If the years of work and millions of rands poured into the Zondo Commission are to have any use to our country, the final report, and its recommendations must become the blueprint for intense legislative reform for South Africa moving forward,” said the DA.

In terms of legislative reform, the report recommended that the Constitution should be amended to allow South Africans to elect the president

Reporting on this, Daily Maverick’s Rebecca Davis wrote: “But the Chief Justice acknowledges a major caveat. This type of change ‘will not necessarily give the people of this country any guarantee that somebody similar to Mr Jacob Zuma or even worse than Mr Jacob Zuma’ could not be elected president.”

The Inkatha Freedom Party was among numerous parties and civics which thanked Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who chaired the commission, for his work. “He had to discharge his duties in the face of frequent criticism, and managed to do so with dignity, and in a manner befitting his station as an Officer of the Court: this, in itself, is to be commended,” said the IFP in a statement.

Ramaphosa has ‘no moral authority’

While many political parties and civil society organisations welcomed the report, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said the delays and meetings between Zondo and president Cyril Ramaphosa about the report left the “whole nation to conclude that Ramaphosa needed to ensure that the report may cast aspersions on Fraser, in order to taint the valid allegations against him of money laundering”. 

Earlier this month, Fraser opened a criminal case against Ramaphosa for allegedly concealing a multimillion-dollar robbery from the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the South African Revenue Service (Sars). Ramaphosa has confirmed a robbery took place, but denied any form of criminality. 

The EFF statement then said that Ramaphosa had “no moral authority” to accept the report while a dark cloud hangs over his head. 

Voice of civil society

The Organisation for Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) said that although they’d love to see those implicated in orange overalls, that will take time.

“The Commission’s task was to hold the inquiry and collect information. To simplify, we could compare this to a robbery. 

“Before the Commission started, we knew there was a robbery. Now, with the Commission’s report, we know where the robbery took place and how it was carried out. The suspects are confirmed. We also know who the witnesses are. All this intelligence and information gathered by the Commission is now handed to the police, who should compile a docket, obtain the evidence, take the witness statements and identify the suspects, then hand the docket to a prosecutor who must decide if there is enough evidence to prosecute and if all formal and prescribed procedures were used to obtain the evidence and compile the docket.

“If there is a prima facie case and the prosecutor is satisfied, the suspects can be charged and the case started. Without the Commission’s work, the investigations would have had to have started from scratch with the robbery allegation. The Commission has saved the law enforcement agencies years of work, but they must now take it further,” reads Outa’s statement.

Corruption Watch described the handover as a “critical step towards some sort of national reckoning”.

“There is no doubt that this commission of inquiry has been one of the most significant we have seen in this country, if not anywhere in the world,” said Karam Singh, executive director of Corruption Watch in a statement.

However, the organisation cautioned that it needed to be followed “by concrete processes that set in motion appropriate investigations by law enforcement agencies into the actions of the vast array of people and institutions allegedly involved in the complex network of graft and patronage, as heard in evidence that assailed the country over the last four and a half years.” DM

 

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All Comments 8

  • When the fascist that fronts as the EFF talks about moral authority then surely this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black? This may be considered a racist comment in our woke world, however.

  • I suppose the EFF’s involvement in the VBS Bank scandal and other such corrupt activities gives them the moral authority to comment!!?

  • EFF: “Fraser = hero; Ramaphosa = villain. I am so pleased to see that Malema and his motley crew possess the moral authority to recognise that.

  • Sorry, Karabo, if this was the considered party feedback after the publication of the final report, God Help Us. More predictable, self-righteously trite, brain-dead commentary leaves me beyond comment. When will our politicians begin to understand it’s not about them and start thinking about us, the electorate that stupidly elected them?

  • Juju VBS and moral authority? Original henchman for a corrupt president, implicated tax dodger, a tenderpreneur, and stealer of little old Venda ladies pensions. Voetsek!

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