State capture prosecutions don’t need to wait for judicial inquiry – Ramaphosa

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says there is ample evidence for instances of state capture, and an eventual judicial commission of inquiry will get to the bottom of it

Ramaphosa appeared in the National Assembly on Thursday for his last question session of the year.

The deputy president was hounded by opposition MPs on the delayed setting up of a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture by President Jacob Zuma.

Ramaphosa said the matter was now before the courts, but did not mince his words on whether he believed the allegations had substance.

“It is important that this commission be appointed. It is important for all of the reasons I’ve stated before in this House,” he told MPs.

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“There is ample evidence of the capture of key state institutions to advance private interests. This is something that should concern and worry all of us”.The evidence suggested that efforts to divert public resources into a hand of a few families and individuals was continuing, he said.

“While a commission of inquiry is necessary to ensure the depth of state capture is fully revealed, and how it happened, the investigation and prosecution of those does not need to wait for the commission.

“Every credible allegation needs to be investigated thoroughly, and those who have broken the law need to be criminally charged and held to account.

“If we are to put a stop to corruption and state capture, those responsible must be brought to book”.

Ramaphosa admitted that key institutions in the chain, like the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority, needed to be strengthened and given more resources.

He also said he had no reason to believe Zuma would not implement the commission once the North Gauteng High Court rules on the pending matter.

“All the indications show the President does intend to establish the commission of inquiry.

“This is where we have to be patient,” he said while laughing, having repeated the word patient at least five times that day.

“Let us exercise a measure of patience and wait for the courts to give direction on this matter.

READ MORE: Team of top prosecutors to investigate state capture allegations

“If you cannot be patient, just take a deep breath, and then patience will prevail”.Former public protector Thuli Madonsela recommended in October 2015 that Zuma allow Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng to select the judge to chair a commission of inquiry into state capture.

Zuma took Madonsela’s State of Capture report on review, which was heard in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria earlier this month. He wants the court to set the report aside.

He committed to setting up the commission of inquiry within 30 days if Madonsela’s report is set aside.

The court has yet to set a date for a ruling, following closing arguments on November 1.

—News24 wire