Zuma too implicated to choose judge for state capture inquiry‚ says Sexwale
Jan Bornman | 2017-05-25 21:15:22.0
Jacob Zuma. File photo.
Image by: JAMES OATWAY
President Jacob Zuma should not appoint the judge leading an inquiry into state capture because he himself has some explaining to do‚ ANC veteran Tokyo Sexwale said on Thursday.
Sexwale wants an investigation into state capture allegations at Trillian Capital Partners‚ where he is a non-executive chairman‚ to become part of a bigger inquiry into state capture‚ as was recommended by former public protector Thuli Madonsela.
He wants the Chief Justice to appoint a judge to investigate state capture‚ instead of the president deciding who will do the investigation. Sexwale‚ a former human settlements minister‚ said it was time for Zuma to do some explaining. He appointed advocate Geoff Budlender last year to investigate allegations that Trillian knew of then finance minister Nhlanhla Nene’s axing in 2015.
“After carefully looking at all relevant matters I have realised that there are issues here that are much bigger than Trillian‚” Sexwale said in a statement on Thursday.
“Chief among them is that the President opens up and take the nation into confidence about how information that was supposed to be the sole preserve of the president ended up allegedly in the hands of private companies‚ such as alleged against Trillian. Therefore‚ we support the proposition of a judicial commission that can only be appointed by a non-conflicted person such as the Chief Justice.”
Sexwale said Budlender has been battling to get all the information he required to do his investigation. That is why the “allegations against Trillian needed to ventilated in higher forum”.
“Adv Budlender does not have the powers to subpoena witnesses and to cross-examine them.” Sexwale said Budlender was expected to finish his investigation in June‚ after which Sexwale would resign from the Trillian board to focus on other business interests.
“I have reconsidered my position within the company and upon receipt of the report from Adv Budlender‚ I shall depart from chairman not because there may or may not be any wrongdoing at Trillian but due to the fact that my business model has changed‚” he said in the statement.
“I came here to be part of an asset management company and to eventually buy a stake in it. I did not expect the allegations whose investigations have taken longer than anticipated and can’t spend my time dealing with constant allegations that require adequate investigation and verification.
“While I believe in the skills and robustness of the company and its employees; it’s also not in the interest of the company‚ its employees and clients to remain constantly in the headlines for the wrong reasons‚” he said. It is not clear if Madonsela’s recommended inquiry into state capture will happen because Zuma is currently challenging it in court‚ saying he should be the one appointing the judge heading up the inquiry.