The commission of inquiry into state capture should follow on the work of the former public protector Thuli Madonsela's report on state capture, beginning with forensic investigations into the President's phone records. Madonsela reportedly said this in an interview with JJ Tabane on Power FM on Tuesday night.
Earlier on Tuesday night, President Jacob Zuma made a surprise announcement, that he had decided to appoint a commission of inquiry into state capture, headed by the Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, Raymond Zondo. Zondo's appointment was recommended by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.
Zuma lost a court bid to set aside the recommendations in Madonsela's report, specifically, that the Chief Justice should appoint the head of the inquiry and not the president, because Zuma was implicated in the investigation. Zuma intended to appeal that decision, which was why his announcement was a surprise to many.
Madonsela reportedly said the inquiry would be a waste of time if it ventured outside the parameters of what was recommended by her report. Madonsela had recommended that there should be a commission of inquiry into state capture, as her office had not had the time or resources to properly investigate the issue.
The inquiry should also make sure that Zuma answers the questions sent to him by Madonsela, she said.
At the core of the inquiry will be the verification of the emails, dubbed the #GuptaLeaks, which revealed the extent of state capture by the Gupta family and their associates.
"The commission of inquiry will now have to authenticate those emails, it will have to go to the original systems to check the veracity or authenticity of the emails," she said.
Zuma's announcement comes as the ANC's new national executive committee (NEC) is due to meet for the first time on Wednesday. According to a report in The Star last week, Zuma was given until Wednesday's meeting to either step down or face another vote of no confidence motion from the NEC.
The timing of Zuma's announcement, the eve of the NEC meeting, led some commentators to believe that his reasons for doing so were self-serving.
President Jacob Zuma is truly shameless: (mis)appropriating the language of justice in an unsubtle attempt to try avoid being recalled or impeached. If he gave a rat's behind about state capture he'd not have enabled state capture nor taken this long to act on the PP report. BS.— Eusebius McKaiser (@Eusebius) January 9, 2018
Today President Zuma announced that he would do something he believes to be unconstitutional & which he will appeal (to appoint State Capture Inquiry judge nominated by CJ) because it was what he thought was politically required. That's all. https://t.co/ZdypbnHTwZ— Pierre de Vos (@pierredevos) January 9, 2018