State of cap­ture

Mail & Guardian - - News -

Zuma has never ex­plained why he did not in­ves­ti­gate the var­i­ous al­le­ga­tions of state cap­ture re­lat­ing to his friends and Cabi­net be­fore the pub­lic pro­tec­tor started her in­ves­ti­ga­tion, or be­fore she re­leased her re­port. He has since held that he was legally ad­vised against a sup­posed par­al­lel process once Madon­sela’s re­port was out.

He has never ex­plained why he tried to in­ter­dict the re­lease of the re­port, then with­drew his ob­jec­tion in court.

In the time since, Zuma has made sev­eral prom­ises to es­tab­lish the ju­di­cial com­mis­sion of in­quiry Madon­sela di­rected, char­ac­terised by his of­fice as un­equiv­o­cal un­der­tak­ings. He main­tained he could not launch such an in­quiry un­til the courts de­cided on his re­views ap­pli­ca­tion deal­ing with the na­ture of such a com­mis­sion.

He has not ex­plained why he with­drew a cru­cial as­pect of that re­view ap­pli­ca­tion in court.

Most re­cently, Zuma sug­gested a court should or­der that all state cap­ture al­le­ga­tions re­lat­ing to ethics breaches by the ex­ec­u­tive — which in­cludes al­most all al­le­ga­tions about him — be re­ferred back to Madon­sela’s suc­ces­sor, Bu­sisiwe Mkhwe­bane.

He also com­mit­ted to set­ting up such a court or­der or a com­mis­sion of in­quiry within 30 days, but made no com­mit­ments on its scope, pow­ers or whether he would re­cuse him­self from se­lect­ing its head. One year ago the State of Cap­ture re­port gave two state-owned en­ter­prises a re­prieve.

Madon­sela noted re­ports that Transnet had paid now-in­fa­mous com­pa­nies Reg­i­ments and Tril­lian large amounts for seem­ingly lit­tle work, but post­poned in­ves­ti­ga­tion of those pay­ments to a sec­ond phase of in­quiry.

Al­le­ga­tions about de­fence en­tity Denel’s since-aban­doned in­ter­na­tional hookup with a Gupta-aligned com­pany sim­i­larly got a men­tion, but no ac­tual in­ves­ti­ga­tion or find­ings.

But whether or not a com­mis­sion of in­quiry is ac­tu­ally es­tab­lished, that re­prieve is due to ex­pire soon.

Par­lia­ment’s pub­lic en­ter­prises com­mit­tee, cur­rently delv­ing into the al­le­ga­tions about Eskom, has promised to turn to Transnet and Denel in turn — prob­a­bly in that or­der. All three com­pa­nies fall un­der its purview. The com­mit­tee (and any com­mis­sion of in­quiry) will find their work much eased by the #Gup­taLeaks emails, which have emerged since June.

Be­yond re­veal­ing the in­volve­ment — and pos­si­ble cul­pa­bil­ity — of pri­vate com­pa­nies such as au­dit firm KPMG and Ger­man soft­ware gi­ants SAP and Soft­ware AG in state cap­ture, the emails sug­gested that:

O Denel tried to en­ter into a deal that would make the Gupta fam­ily the big­gest ben­e­fi­ciary if any South African weapons were sold in In­dia; and

O Transnet en­tered into a con­tract for lo­co­mo­tives from which R5.3bil­lion had been due to flow to the Gupta fam­ily.

Transnet has asked its sup­pli­ers to dis­close any com­mis­sions to third par­ties for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions. Denel has re­fused to speak about state cap­ture al­le­ga­tions, which it said the

Hawks are in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

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