Mkhwebane: State capture inquiry must 'ensure no stone is left unturned'

President Jacob Zuma

Zuma announces state capture inquiry on eve of crucial ANC meeting

He said further delays in appointing the commission would make the public doubt the government's commitment to dismantling "all forms of corruption" and entrench "the perception" that the state has been captured by private interests.

The Kathrada Foundation's executive director, Neeshan Balton, said in a statement on Thursday that they "cautiously welcome" Zuma's announcement of the establishment of the commission of inquiry into state capture, but this commission should not include other cases.

The public protector's remedial action called for the commission to be headed by a judge appointed by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, a matter which Zuma took issue with, saying only he as president was empowered to perform that task as mandated by the Constitution of the country.

Zuma said in a statement: "The matter can not wait any longer".

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A report compiled by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela looked into whether the controversial Gupta family had undue influence on the state as a result of their closeness to the president.

The presidency said the two leaders will also explore areas geared towards increasing consultations on global issues that would be enhanced by increased contacts at the highest bilateral level.

Zuma had, until now, been reluctant to appoint the commission on the basis that he wanted the courts to clarity certain aspects of Madonsela's ruling he was not happy with. Some of Ramaphosa's supporters had wanted to use the first gathering of the party's leaders to pass a motion of no-confidence in Zuma and have him recalled from the Union Buildings.

Zuma was ordered to establish the inquiry within 30 days of a High Court ruling last month, which upheld the recommendations of South Africa's corruption-fighting Public Protector.

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A scandal erupted after documents leaked to the South African press previous year revealed the close ties between his family and the secretive, well-connected Gupta's, who numerous allegations revolve around.

South Africa's main oppostion Democratic Alliance (DA) cheered the creation of the probe.

"The commission must seek to uncover not just the conduct of some, but of all those who may have rendered our state or parts thereof vulnerable to control by forces other than the public for which government is elected", said Zuma in his announcement.

"This matter can not wait any longer", Zuma said in a televised address to the nation.

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Zuma, who has denied wrongdoing, said he has appealed the order to pay the costs himself but is moving ahead with a commission of inquiry because "this matter has occupied the public mind for some time now and deserves urgent attention".

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