Johannesburg— Monday, a South African commission charged with allegations of widespread corruption under the government of former President Jacob Zuma, started its public hearings.
The matter will be investigated by the commission to locate if Zuma and his allies, including a wealthy business family, the Guptas, who have been named as the influencers affecting the hiring and the firing of government officials, along a few other allegations.
The commission does not have prosecutorial powers, yet it can still recommend the legal action. The body was established back in January by Zuma, who was fired within weeks by his own party, the African National Congress.
Thuli Madonsela, the former public protector, who had ties with Zuma for several years over public money he used to upgrade his own property, affirmed that President’s sole reason behind setting up the commission was to launch an inquiry into a report on corruption allegations against Zuma and its allies in 2016. However, Zuma and the members of the Gupta family deny their role in the matter.
Raymond Zondo, the Deputy Chief Justice, who is leading the body, articulated that the commission’s work has already been delayed, following the state security agency, which has been dragging its nose into the matter. Therefore, once the security clearances are given, we can start looking into the matter.
Further stating that the public’s response to his call to come forward with the information relevant for the investigation, has been utterly disappointing. Considering, the level of public interest in matters like corruption and especially, when the matter revolves around the former president, and his allies, the response has not been up to the mark.
Zondo also acknowledged that the body knows some people, who identify the darkest secrets and also have the evidence to prove the happenings, which have harmed people in the worst possible ways, yet they are not willing to help.
Several high profile witnesses are expected to answer the call once the hearing gets underway, this also includes former Deputy Finance Mcebisi Jonas, who has hinted that Gupta offered him money and the position of Finance minister, while Gupta continues to deny his involvement in the matter.