Cyril tackles the elephant in the room: Don’t delay the state capture inquiry

No delay: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Reuters)

No delay: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Reuters)

ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa has called for a judicial inquiry into state capture to be established as a matter of urgency, warning that it is eating the ANC alive and preventing it from implementing its policies.

He referred to state capture as the elephant in the room, identifying it as one of the biggest problems the ANC faces.

“The ANC wants this decision to be implemented. It doesn’t want the decision to be put at the bottom of the cupboard because this issue of state capture is busy eating the ANC away,” Ramaphosa told delegates at union federation Cosatu’s central committee meeting under way in Centurion.

“Let us welcome, hope, pray and trust that this decision is going to be implemented. that commission must be established. No matter what,” he said.

On Monday the ANC announced that it supports the establishment of the judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of undue influence on the government by private businesses and families.

The decision followed a national executive committee meeting over the weekend, where the matter came under discussions.

Although former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s investigation into state capture focused almost exclusively on the Gupta family and their influence on state owned enterprises and the government, the ANC has called for the judicial commission of inquiry to broaden its scope.

In a reference to the leaked emails, which show how the Guptas infiltrated the Cabinet and influenced decisions taken by government, Ramaphosa said the inquiry was necessary to prevent that happening in the future.

“To prevent these stories, this and that, the emails. To prevent all these things coming out of the woodwork, the commission must commence its work and must have terms of reference that goes to the depth of what state capture is,” the deputy president said.

It will allow those implicated “an opportunity to clear their names”.

“We want the truth to free us,” he said.

Ramaphosa said the state capture debacle has intensified factional battles in the ANC.

“We must stop fighting side struggles and fighting among each other. We are fighting among ourselves, fighting for positions. All these things are happening because of this elephant in the room,” Ramaphosa said.

He called on Cosatu’s members to come forward with evidence of state capture, saying as employees of state owned enterprises and government departments, they may have intimate knowledge of how state capture takes place.

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