President Jacob Zuma wants the state capture commission of inquiry to investigate all forms of government corruption, including allegations against him, his Cabinet ministers, the Gupta family and state-owned entities.
In the terms of reference, Zuma says the commission must investigate whether, by whom and to what extent attempts were made, through any form of inducement or for any gain, to influence members of the national executive, including deputy ministers, office bearers and directors of the boards of SOEs.
“The commission must investigate the veracity of allegations that former deputy minister of Finance Mcebisi Jonas and former Member of Parliament Vytjie Mentor were offered cabinet positions by the Gupta family,” he wrote in the terms of reference.
He also wants the commission, which will be headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to investigate if any member of the executive unlawfully, corruptly or improperly intervened in the closing of the Gupta banks accounts.
This as per the stipulations set out by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. She had recommended that a commission headed up by a judge chosen by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng look into claims of the notorious family’s undue influence over Zuma. They are accused of having a hand in some of his key decisions including the appointment of members of his executives and the running of state owned enterprises.
There has been ongoing debate over what the terms of the commission should be with some arguing that it should be extended beyond the Gupta family and even towards the beginning of South Africa’s democratic era.
Madonsela completed the investigation in 2016 just as her tenure came to an end and since then Zuma has used the courts to try and thwart and delay its contents from becoming public and having the recommendations put in action.
Zuma announced on 9 January that the commission would go ahead, this amidst discussion of whether the scope of the commission should go beyond his relationship with the Gupta family.
The justice department has also said regulations would follow the terms of reference and give the commission the legal right to conduct the investigation.
The department also said it would assist the chair of the commission with resources and setting up the necessary infrastructure to fulfil its mandate. – News24