Madonsela: State Capture Inquiry Must Investigate Zuma's Phone Records

Thuli Madonsela says the inquiry must continue the work of the Public Protector's office.
Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.
Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.
Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters

The commission of inquiry into state capture should follow on the work of the former public protector Thuli Madonsela's report on state capture, beginning with forensic investigations into the President's phone records. Madonsela reportedly said this in an interview with JJ Tabane on Power FM on Tuesday night.

Earlier on Tuesday night, President Jacob Zuma made a surprise announcement, that he had decided to appoint a commission of inquiry into state capture, headed by the Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, Raymond Zondo. Zondo's appointment was recommended by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

Zuma lost a court bid to set aside the recommendations in Madonsela's report, specifically, that the Chief Justice should appoint the head of the inquiry and not the president, because Zuma was implicated in the investigation. Zuma intended to appeal that decision, which was why his announcement was a surprise to many.

Madonsela reportedly said the inquiry would be a waste of time if it ventured outside the parameters of what was recommended by her report. Madonsela had recommended that there should be a commission of inquiry into state capture, as her office had not had the time or resources to properly investigate the issue.

The inquiry should also make sure that Zuma answers the questions sent to him by Madonsela, she said.

At the core of the inquiry will be the verification of the emails, dubbed the #GuptaLeaks, which revealed the extent of state capture by the Gupta family and their associates.

"The commission of inquiry will now have to authenticate those emails, it will have to go to the original systems to check the veracity or authenticity of the emails," she said.

Zuma's announcement comes as the ANC's new national executive committee (NEC) is due to meet for the first time on Wednesday. According to a report in The Star last week, Zuma was given until Wednesday's meeting to either step down or face another vote of no confidence motion from the NEC.

The timing of Zuma's announcement, the eve of the NEC meeting, led some commentators to believe that his reasons for doing so were self-serving.


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