Shockwaves Follow Release of South African State Capture Report

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says a scathing report by the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture marks "the end of an era" of corruption. But analysts say it's only the beginning of efforts needed to restore public trust in South Africa's political institutions, writes Linda Gradstein for Voice of America.

Damning findings of the report - which will be released in three parts - include an 87-page examination of how former president Jacob Zuma and his accomplices captured the South African Revenue Service (SARS). "It is a notable feature of the SARS evidence," Chief Justice Raymond Zondo wrote in his report, "in contrast to the rest of the evidence which the commission heard, that this is one of the few instances where President Zuma himself directly and personally involved in the activities and plans to take over a government entity, namely SARS." Zuma was found guilty of contempt of court in 2021 for failing to appear before the inquiry. He has long denied any wrongdoing and called the inquiry biased.

The report also recommended prosecution against former high-ranking lawmakers and their public and private sector affiliates. Olwethu Majola, a lawyer and doctoral candidate in criminology at the University of Cape Town, says further investigations need to take place. "We're going to see law enforcement, such as the police or special investigative unit, conducting their own investigations based on the preliminary commission. Depending on how far or how long it takes for investigations to be concluded, perhaps within, you know, two years, we can see charges being brought against individuals," she said.

Additional recommendations from the report include greater protection of whistleblowers and the the establishment of a single, multifunctional, properly resourced and independent anti-corruption authority by government with a mandate to "confront the abuses inherent in the present system".

InFocus

Logo for the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

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