President Cyril Ramaphosa has advised the speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, that parliament needs to act regarding the findings of the final instalment of the Zondo state capture report, in particular the chapters relating to the State Security Agency and the landing of the Gupta family’s friends at Waterkloof Air Force Base.
In a letter dated 24 June — two days after he received the report from Chief Justice Raymond Zondo — and flagged in parliament’s latest notice papers, Ramaphosa informed the speaker that he will represent the report, “together with an indication of his intention on the implementation of the Zondo commission’s recommendations” by October 22.
But he adds that the legislature is not reliant on his response to the report, but compelled to mount its own.
“In addition to submitting the plan, the president expresses his appreciation that parliament will need to engage in its own process on the recommendations that affect it directly, in particular but not exclusively, volumes 1 and 2 of part 5 as well as volume 2 of part 5. He states that he shares this portion of the report, and any other portions thereof with similar contents, to assist in this work,” says the letter, a copy of which was seen by the Mail & Guardian.
Volume 5 part 1 deals, over 472 pages, with the testimony on the abuses of the State Security Agency and Crime Intelligence. Zondo found that former president Jacob Zuma sent a clear message to top intelligence officials to halt an investigation into the Principal Agent Network, which was headed by Arthur Fraser.
He recommended that this investigation, in which Fraser risked being charged with corruption, be resumed.
The second part of volume 5 deals with the April 2013 landing of a commercial aircraft carrying some 200 wedding guests of the Gupta family at Waterkloof, as well as corruption at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa and the subversion processes at public broadcaster SABC to favour the Guptas’ interests.
Ramaphosa is weathering a political storm after Fraser alleged that some US$4-million hidden in furniture at the president’s Limpopo game farm was stolen and the theft covered up.
South Africa is preparing a formal request for the extradition of Ajay and Rajesh Gupta after they were arrested in Dubai on 2 June. They face fraud and money-laundering charges for their alleged role in looting state funds in the Nulane Investments case.
In March, Ramaphosa sent volume 3 of the Zondo report to parliament but Mapisa-Nqakula and ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina indicated that they were not inclined to act on an internal legal opinion advising steps against MPs and former ministers until the president had announced his recommendations on implementing the report.
This section of the report deals with Bosasa’s sustained campaign to secure and renew state contracts that saw it pay about R57-million in bribes. After pressure from the opposition, four MPs were referred to the joint committee on ethics and members’ interests in late May.