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South Africans welcome terms of reference for Zuma-Guptas inquiry

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The department of justice and constitutional development has gazetted the terms of reference for the judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture to be headed by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.

The gazetting comes after President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday signed the proclamation to give legal effect to the terms of reference for the commission, which he wants to investigate allegations of state capture, corruption and fraud, including allegations against him, his Cabinet ministers, the controversial Gupta family and state-owned entities.

The commission will investigate “whether, and to what extent and by whom attempts were made through any form of inducement or for any gain of whatsoever nature to influence members of the National Executive (including Deputy Ministers), office bearers and/or functionaries employed by or office bearers of any state institution or organ of state or directors of the boards of SOEs”.

The Zondo Commission, according to the proclamations, will be guided by former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report, the constitution, relevant legislation, policies, and guidelines, as well as the order f the Pretoria High Court in December last year.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa described the pending commission of inquiry into state capture as a “huge plus”, as “we are now going to go to the depths of what corruption has been taking place in our State-owned enterprises”.

The opposition Democratic Alliance also welcomed the terms published in the Government Gazette.

“For too long, the Gupta family has had a stranglehold over the South African government, and particularly over President Zuma,” senior DA official Glynnis Breytenbach said in a statement.

Ramaphosa was speaking during a press conference at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

Zuma became president in 2009 and is set to serve until his second term ends next year, but the ruling African National Congress says it is deciding whether to cut short his tenure in favour of its new leader Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa, who is South Africa’s deputy president, is in pole position to win next year’s election. He has pledged to combat corruption and some party officials say he would boost the ANC’s electoral chances were he to take the reins early.

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