State capture about greed, selfishness and criminality, says Zondo

State capture about greed, selfishness and criminality, says Zondo

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo says the looting of billions of rands during state capture posed a genuine threat to South Africa’s democracy.

acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo at Chief Justice interviews February 2022

He spoke at a Thursday Human Sciences Research Council event in Pretoria, discussing the State Capture Commission.

Thursday marks exactly one year since Zondo, who chaired the commission, handed the final parts of the report to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

"State capture is about greed, selfishness and criminality," Zondo said.

He also lambasted Parliament for failing to take steps to ensure state capture was exposed before the looting of around R58 billion from the state's coffers.

"The reason why it failed is well-known. It is because the majority party refused to agree to the establishment of an inquiry to investigate the allegations,” said Zondo.

"There were a number of instances where there was an opportunity for the majority party in Parliament to agree, but it did not and therefore, the Guptas continued with their project and the transactions that happened afterwards happened because there were not talked about by Parliament."

Zondo said he believes there is an urgent need for the establishment of an anti-state capture and anti-corruption standing committee in the legislature.

"The other possibility is one that the commission has pointed out in its report, namely there should be a standing anti-state capture and anti-corruption commission that works the same way as the state capture, where we can call anybody, whether it is the president, any member of Parliament, or any minister to come and answer questions where there are allegations of corruption and state capture.

"Even if the majority in Parliament do not want certain questions to be asked in that commission either to protect the president or ministers, there would be full opportunities for everything to be explored, and the evidence given would be given in the open, at least there wouldn't be anything that is swept under the carpet. 

"If it is established through that commission that there is serious corruption and state capture, there will be a strong public opinion which might force even a majority in parliament to do something because of the strong public opinion."


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