South Africa: Cautious Zondo Sticks His Neck Out On Eskom (Just a Bit)

Former President Jacob Zuma at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture, July 17, 2019.
analysis

The long-suffering chairperson of the State Capture inquiry has begun to hint at what he may find in his final report. This comes as the inquiry returned its attention to graft at Eskom. It's about time, with six months left for public hearings.

The State Capture inquiry needs to regain a grip on its terms of reference since it is running out of time. A court-ordered deadline for public sittings is six months away, and Friday, 11 September 2020 marked the 266th day of hearings.

We saw a flicker of renewed focus in the past week as hearings returned to Eskom, a centrepiece in the State Capture racket. Former Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela stipulated the scope of the inquiry in her "State of Capture" report in 2016. The original Terms of Reference emphasised graft at SOEs, but Madonsela claims that focus was lost with the introduction of Bosasa.

Thuli Madonsela.

"The reason we wanted a commission of inquiry was with a view to having something that was going to be prompt and rigorous," said former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on eNCA. Prompt, it was not. Rigorous, it may yet prove to be.

Eskom forms one of the most important...

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