State capture: ‘day of reckoning required’
Sipho Mabena | 2017-05-28 16:30:32.0
Advocate Paul Hoffman.
Image by: MOELETSI MABE
South Africans need a day of reckoning for the revelations of private control of state affairs‚ says public interest group Accountability Now.
Director Paul Hoffman said the commission of inquiry recommended by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela was the only way for the nation to heal and obtain justice for the “deep hurt” caused by revelations of the extent of the Gupta family’s control over state affairs.
He said whoever succeeded President Jacob Zuma needed to institute the commission of inquiry.
“Whoever (is) in office must give effect to the commission of inquiry into state capture so that everyone can get justice‚ a big day of reckoning‚ a huge accounting for what has been allowed to happen on Zuma’s watch‚” he said.
Hoffman was reacting to revelations of explosive e-mail correspondence documenting the extent of Gupta family influence on state affairs through its links to President Jacob Zuma and his son Duduzane.
According to Sunday newspapers the e-mails show the extent of Gupta control over cabinet ministers and parastatal CEOs and board members.
The correspondence also gives insight into the role of Zuma’s son Duduzane in presidential matters. Duduzane is a close Gupta associate and is believed to have made billions through this partnership.
Another series of explosive e-mails show the Guptas were central to a scheme for Zuma and his family to acquire residency in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
“It is a heart-sore story… this is not what the constitution is about‚ the constitution is about how everyone has a right to dignity‚ that the state will seek achievement in the economy and the enjoyment of freedom‚ that there will be openness‚ responsibility and responsiveness‚” he said.
President Jacob Zuma denied he was planning to move to the United Arab Emirates but failed to respond to questions about his cabinet ministers’ communications with the Guptas.
Gupta family lawyer Gert van der Merwe said the reports relied on undisclosed documents and assumptions of impropriety resulting in a clear intention to influence political perception which‚ he said‚ was another example of fake news.
Madonsela‚ in the remedial action section of her report titled State of Capture‚ said Zuma should appoint a judicial commission on inquiry within 30 days of the release of her report‚ to be presided over by a judge selected by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. However‚ Zuma put the report under review.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane said it was clear that as the Gupta capture scandals continue to grow‚ a judicial commission of inquiry‚ as recommended by Madonsela‚ had to be established.
“Today’s revelations make it clear as to why Jacob Zuma is opposing the Public Protector’s recommendations in court‚” he said.