Ramaphosa: Anyone accused of state capture should welcome judicial inquiry

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Reuters)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Reuters)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that anyone who has been implicated in allegations of state capture should welcome a commission of inquiry to clear their names.

Ramaphosa suggested that if ministers, state-owned entities board members and the Zuma family were innocent of the allegations, then a judicial commission would begin unopposed.

“The commission of inquiry is a great opportunity for South Africans which all of us should grab. Those who have been mentioned [in state capture allegations] should also grab [opportunities] to go to the commission and explain their actions,” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa was speaking at Parliament on Wednesday where he answered questions from MPs. Many of the questions have so far centred on state capture.

The intense scrutiny on state capture comes after weeks of media reports on emails from the Gupta-owned Sahara company which demonstrate the close ties between the Gupta family and members of Cabinet. Ministers embroiled in the emails include former communications minister Faith Muthambi, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, and Minister of Co-operative Governence and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. President Jacob Zuma and his son, Duduzane, have also been named in the emails.

The Gupta family lawyer Gert van der Merwe has said the family is questioning the authenticity of the emails.

The presidency has said it welcomes a commission of inquiry into state capture, but the recommendations of the public protector’s report said that the judge heading the commission should be appointed by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and not Zuma.

So far, nobody has denied the allegations or events that are contained in the emails.

Zuma has applied for the courts to review the public protector’s State of Capture report. The courts are now awaiting a response from the public protector’s office on whether it will oppose Zuma’s application or not.

Ramaphosa has emerged as an opponent of the Zuma faction in the ANC, particularly as he is vying for party leadership against Nko

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Both are campaigning to be ANC president by the end of 2017 when the ANC goes to its elective conference.

He believes that an inquiry into state capture would finally resolve the matter and allow South Africa to move on.

“It affects everyone. It would affect me, it would affect my colleagues,” Ramaphosa said.

“That in itself has everything to do with clearing the decks, with making sure that we put this whole thing of state capture behind us and we get on with the process of moving South Africa forward.”

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