24/01/2018 14:05 SAST | Updated 24/01/2018 14:12 SAST

Scope Of State Capture Probe To Be Made Public

Will it investigate the Guptas and Zuma, or will it extend to apartheid-era corruption?

President Jacob Zuma
Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
President Jacob Zuma

South Africans will know on Thursday what the highly debated terms of reference for President Jacob Zuma's judicial commission of inquiry into state capture will be.

In a media statement on Wednesday, the department of justice and constitutional development said it is currently processing the publication of the terms of reference in the Government Gazette.

"Following the announcement made by [Zuma] on the appointment of the judicial commission of inquiry to be headed by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, the legal team started the process of drafting the terms of reference which were eventually signed by the president on January 23, 2018," the department said.

"The signed terms of reference are in the process of being translated into another official language as per the legal requirement. The publication is scheduled for release on January 25, 2018."

READ: Raymond Zondo: Who Is The Man Behind SA's Biggest Probe?

The publication of the terms of reference will be followed by the release of the regulations that give the commission the legal competence to conduct the investigation. This includes the power of the chairperson to subpoena witnesses, and of search and seizure.

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.

In a media briefing on Tuesday, Zondo said he will investigate "everybody and anybody" in line with the terms of reference.

"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 rob the people of South Africa of money that belongs to them that should be used to improve their lives," he said.

"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."