26/01/2018 07:22 SAST | Updated 26/01/2018 07:22 SAST

Could Duduzane Zuma Be First Up At State Capture Inquiry?

According to the terms of reference released on Thursday, Duduzane Zuma should be one of the first witnesses.

Gallo Images/City Press/Muntu Vilakazi
Ajay and Atul Gupta, and Sahara director, Duduzane Zuma speak to the City Press from the New Age Newspaper's offices in Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa on 4 March 2011.

Could President Jacob Zuma's son Duduzane be one of the first witnesses to testify at the state capture commission of inquiry? Business Day reported on Friday that, according to the terms of reference announced by Zuma on Thursday, the allegations against his son could be dealt with from the start.

The first order of business for the inquiry is to investigate whether members of the executive or boards of state-owned enterprises have been bribed to accept posts. Specifically, these are the allegations made by former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas and former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor, that they were offered ministerial positions by members of the Gupta family, according to Business Day.

Duduzane is a business partner of the Guptas, but recently said he was exiting those companies to clear his name. According to TimesLive, last year, he complained that all his bank accounts had been shut down because of his association with the Gupta family and blamed this on former finance minister Pravin Gordhan.

According to eNCA, Duduzane Zuma was the one who arranged a meeting between the Guptas and Jonas, where he was allegedly offered R600,000 if he accepted the post of finance minister.

On Thursday, News24 reported that the DA called for Duduzane to testify at the inquiry. DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach reportedly said: "For years, President Zuma has been trying to frustrate efforts to hold him accountable.

"In addition to members of the Gupta family, we expect to see President Zuma and his son Mr Duduzane Zuma summoned to testify before the commission, as they too have been directly implicated in the public protector's report, along with all others implicated, including Cabinet members."

While Zuma confined the terms of reference to the issues contained in former public protector Thuli Madonsela's state capture report, Business Day reported that there is one caveat in the terms of reference which could weight down the commission's work: Zuma also said the commission should investigate the unlawful awarding of tenders to the Guptas, "or any other family, individual or corporate entity doing business with government or any organ of state".