11 January 2018

South Africa: Zuma's State Capture Inquiry Announcement - Commission or Charade?


The carefully crafted announcement by the President regarding the intended appointment of a commission of inquiry into state capture has received a mixed reception mainly because it is well known that turkeys don't vote for Christmas.

Consider these presidential weasel words:

"I have considered this matter ... carefully, including the unprecedented legal implications of the order directing the Chief Justice to select a single judge to head the commission of inquiry. I have expressed my reservations about the legality of this directive, which may be the subject of the appeal."

So what is the President actually doing? Proceeding with an appeal attacking the legality of the direction given to him and the Chief Justice by the erstwhile Public Protector, or actually appointing Justice Zondo? The latter does not appear to have officially accepted the appointment and would be well advised to consider his position carefully before he does. No gazetting of the applicable terms of reference (apparently still to be decided and a hot potato too) and his appointment has been made public at the time of writing.

It has long been contended, inter alia, by the Quaker Peace Centre, the FW de Klerk Foundation and Afriforum, that the...

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