Jacob Zuma’s alleged dirty laundry has been aired for all to see after the “State Capture” report was released yesterday.
In the 355-page document, former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela raises concerns over the relationship between the president, his son Duduzane and the wealthy Gupta family, and implicates several cabinet ministers.
It was a dramatic day for Zuma, which started in the North Gauteng High Court yesterday when his lawyer Anthea Platt said the prez would not be interdicting the report’s release.
Zuma had tried to block the report, arguing that he was not properly consulted on it.
When he made the U-turn yesterday, Judge Dunstan Mlambo ordered that the new Public Protector release the report by 5pm, and Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane made the document public hours before the deadline.
The Guptas feature prominently in the report.
Madonsela writes: “It is worrying that the Gupta family was aware or may have been aware that Minister [Nhlanhla] Nene was removed six weeks after Deputy Minister Mcebisi Jonas advised him that he had been allegedly offered a job by the Gupta family in exchange for extending favours to their family business.
“Equally worrying is that Minister [Des] Van Rooyen, who replaced Minister Nene, can be placed at the Saxonwold area on at least seven occasions including on the day before he was announced as minister. This looks anomalous given that at the time he was a member of Parliament based in Cape Town.”
Madonsela said another “worrying concern” was that Nene was axed after Jonas advised him that he was going to be removed.
“If the Gupta family knew about the intended appointment, it would appear that the information was shared in violation of Section 2. 3 (e) of the Executive Ethics Code which prohibits members of the executive from the use of information received in confidence in the course of their duties otherwise than in connection with the discharge of their duties,” said Madonsela.
The much-awaited document also finds that Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane may have flouted the Constitution and the Executive Members Ethics Act with a flight to Zurich, which he had denied was taken to persuade Glencore to sell the Optimum coal mine to the Guptas’ Oakbay and Tegeta companies.
Regarding Tegeta, Madonsela makes damning observations surrounding Eskom’s relationship with the Gupta family.
In the report, Madonsela gives President Zuma 30 days to appoint a commission of inquiry to investigate possible crimes and breaches of the executive code of ethics by himself and members of Cabinet.
The instruction further stipulates that the Chief Justice must appoint a judge to head the commission.
Zuma’s spokesman Dr Bongani Ngqulunga says in a statement: “The President will give consideration to the contents of the report in order to ascertain whether it should be a subject of a court challenge.”