Cape Town – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says it is in the interest of all South Africans for a judicial inquiry to be established to probe allegations of State capture.
He said this when he responded to oral questions in the National Assembly on Wednesday.
He said various allegations have been made in the public domain and much evidence has also been published about people who are alleged to have had undue influence with regards to a number of institutions of government and State in relation to non-transparent appointments as well as procurement decisions.
He said the allegations are clearly a matter of grave concern to many South Africans.
“State capture, it can be said, in whatever form it takes … is something we all as South Africans should not and cannot tolerate.
“Among the urgent steps we need to take in this regard is to establish a Judicial Commission of Inquiry so that this commission of inquiry can probe the claims of corporate capture of state institutions.
“President Jacob Zuma, who is the Head of State and Head of Government, has the powers to establish such a commission in terms of section 84 (f) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and he has indicated that he is not opposed to the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry and as we speak now, he is in a process of consulting his legal advisors to find ways of giving effect to this proposal.
“It is in the interest of all South Africans that the commission is set up as quickly as possible so that all those who have evidence can present their evidence to a competent body and those allegedly implicated should also have an opportunity to respond to the allegations that are being made against them,” the Deputy President said.
The Deputy President said it was critical that law enforcement agencies give these allegations their full attention.
“We welcome the announcement by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations that they have already begun investigations in this matter.
“Where crimes have been committed, those responsible must be prosecuted and must be brought to book.
“One of the most important pillars of our democracy is this whole concept of the rule of law,” he said.
He said that it was important that South Africa should be a country that is regulated by the rule of law.
The Deputy President also said that the law should be allowed to take its course without any fear or favour.
“Alongside this work, government is paying specific attention to strengthening the governance, financial management and the functioning of State-owned Enterprises.
“The Inter-Ministerial Committee on SOEs is engaging the implementation of various cabinet decisions that were taken last year.”