Zuma appoints commission to probe state capture claims

Jacob Zuma BRICS Business Council meeting

South Africa's rand weakened as much as 1.7 percent in midday trade on Wednesday to its worst in almost three weeks after the ruling African National Congress said an early exit for President Jacob Zuma had not been discussed at a party meeting.

Zuma said he made this decision after the investigation and remedial action of the Public Protector and the order by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on December 14 a year ago.

President Jacob Zuma has wished the delegation well in the annual meeting which provides an important platform to market and showcase the country to global business and other key worldwide stakeholders.

"Accordingly, I have decided that, while the issues determined by the court order require final determination by higher courts, this matter can not wait any longer", the president said.

Zuma said extra resources would be made available to the commission of inquiry.

Zuma has said he will still appeal the high court's ruling regarding its "legality", but was nevertheless setting up the inquiry.

Zuma had initially gone to the court to challenge a report by the former public protector, which alleged that he had allowed a wealthy Indian business family known as the Guptas to "capture the state".

The inquiry into state capture - when private interests are able to dictate parts of government policy in accordance with their interests - will be directed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo after his recommendation from Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

"By making more resources available‚ it is my honest hope that the commission‚ will be able to reach many of those areas of concern that may not have been reached by the Public Protector's investigation‚ but form part of what she might have investigated‚ had she had sufficient resources to do so".

Nonetheless, Madonsela said the commission of inquiry may only focus on state capture allegedly committed by the Zuma and Gupta families.

In a statement from the South African Presidency, it said that Ramaphosa, who led the SA delegation in 2017, will again this year lead a team comprising government ministers and business leaders, with Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba being the lead minister and co-ordinator.

She says while she welcomes his decision, crucial evidence may have been lost or compromised. Now, however, he has been forced into offering it his full support.

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