The head of the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, says he will investigate "everybody and anybody, no matter who he or she is" in the probe.
However, Zondo still has no word from President Jacob Zuma's office on when he will release the terms of reference for the commission.
The terms of reference outline the focus of the probe – in this case, whether it should focus solely on the state capture identified by former public protector Thuli Madonsela, whether it should include the leaked Gupta emails, or whether it should expand to cover apartheid-era corruption as well.
[State Capture Inquiry] Deputy Chief Justice, Raymond Zondo, has basically convened a media briefing to tell us that President Jacob Zuma is delaying the start of this Commission, by not announcing its terms of reference. #StateCapture pic.twitter.com/BeWYHtAQEw— Xoli Mngambi (@XoliMngambi) January 23, 2018
Numerous attempts to contact Zuma's office for comment on when the terms of reference are expected to be released were unsuccessful.
"The allegations that this commission has been established to investigate are allegations of a very serious nature in our country, and this commission is tasked with this responsibility of investigating them," Zondo said.
"In my view, the allegations are so serious that they go to the very foundations of our constitutional democracy... In the end, any looting and corruption robs the people of South Africa of money that belongs to them that should be used to improve their lives."
He said he will investigate anybody he needs to, in line with the terms of reference.
"I will investigate anybody and everybody, no matter who he or she is. If [they are included] in the terms of reference, I'm required to investigate them. It doesn't matter who they are; this commission will do its job properly. We owe that to the people of South Africa, and I would not take this job if I had any fear of investigating anybody," he said.
#StateCapture CommissionSounds like DCJ Zondo is ready to go, but is waiting for the President to do what he announced almost two weeks ago he would do. Not much else coming out of press conference.— Pierre de Vos (@pierredevos) January 23, 2018
Zondo said the commission is still waiting for the terms of reference to be finalised.
"The presidency is working on them, and also there are regulations that will need to be published in terms of the Commissions Act, which will enable the commission to make certain appointments of personnel that will assist the commission," he said.
Zondo made it clear that he already has names for his team in mind, but would not disclose them at this time.
"I have already been considering various names, which of course I can't tell you now. I'm quite clear about a number of people I will choose," he said.