After four years and with over 300 witnesses taking the stand, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo released his report into state capture with damning findings against several bigwig politicians including President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Zondo released his final report on State Capture to Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday night.
– Among his many findings, Judge Zondo found:
– that Ramaphosa should have spoken out against state capture during his predecessor Jacob Zuma’s tenure;
– that investigations into corruption against former State Security Agency director-general Arthur Fraser and head of special operations Thulani Dlomo, be reopened;
– that parliament should consider a constituency–based electoral system where South Africans directly elect the country’s president and MP’s, instead of via a political party;
– that the Gupta fugitives and their related companies syphoned off almost R73 billion from the government through state capture and this was not the full amount.
Justice Zondo said Ramaphosa’s silence when he was Zuma’s deputy between 2014 and 2018 was wrong, and by speaking out he could have given skelme politicians pause for thought.
“In my view, if President Ramaphosa had spoken out – and he did not have to be confrontational – and spoken out firmly against state capture and wrongdoing, and President Zuma fired him, that stance could have given hope to a lot of other members of the Cabinet who may have been looking for someone to lead in this regard,” he found.
Zondo said Fraser should be investigated for his involvement in a covert Principal Agent Network (PAN) project, while Thulani Dlomo is accused of handling large sums of money.
The commission found that large sums of money that had been unaccounted for had been withdrawn in millions for the spy projects within the agency.
On Wednesday night, Ramaphosa and Zondo dismissed claims that the delays in releasing the report were a “plot” to implicate Fraser, who laid criminal charges against the president over the theft of $4 million at his Phala Phala Farm in Limpopo in 2020.
Ramaphosa said the chief justice requested to meet him in person to discuss his failure to meet the deadline, which resulted in the delay.
“One has to take us at our word that we have dealt with each other with integrity,” Ramaphosa said.
Meanwhile, Cosatu said the prosecution of those named in the report will be the true test of the Zondo commission.
Spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said they hoped government and the appropriate law enforcement organisations like the NPA, SAPS and SARS would take decisive action to address the corruption that the commission has exposed.
“We expect them to investigate, charge and prosecute all the accused, and also attach the assets of the guilty parties,” Pamla said.