The leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA)’s John Steenhuisen says he still feels strongly that President Cyril Ramaphosa should not have been the one receiving the last two parts of the State Capture Commission report because the President’s testimony featured strongly at the commission hearings itself.
Chief Justice Raymond Zondo officially handed over Parts Five and Six of the report to Ramaphosa on Wednesday evening.
Steenhuisen says he hopes the findings will help put an end to state capture.
“I think that it’s inappropriate for the president to be receiving particularly this volume of the report. I think somebody from the President’s office should’ve received it, given the fact that this report is going to traverse large parts of the President’s own testimony, the President’s role as the chairperson of the cadre deployment committee and also the role of the ANC, the party which he is the President of in the state capture project, and so I think it would have been better to have a little bit of distance between the President and this particular report,” says Steenhuisen.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has criticised Chief Justice Raymond Zondo for the repeated delays in releasing the report.
The EFF’s Leigh Anne Mathys says the party believes Justice Zondo should not be leading the judiciary. She has also accused President Ramaphosa of high levels of deceit regarding the Phala Phala farm robbery.
The Freedom Front Plus says it is concerned that the state capture commission did not delve into state capture at local government level where the party says corruption is at its worst. The party also says it is not certain that people will actually end up behind bars.
Pieter Groenewald of the FF Plus has also questioned why Ramaphosa will only announce how the report’s recommendations will be implemented in four months’ time.
The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) says it believes South Africa is entering a new era in the fight against corruption after the handover of the last two parts of the State Capture Commission report. The last parts of the report look at the Estina Dairy Farm contract as well as the SABC, PRASA and TRANSNET – among other things.
VIDEO: State Capture Report | Mixed reaction to release of the final installment
The state capture report has recommended that the law enforcement agencies conduct investigations with a view to prosecute Transnet board members or officials for agreeing to unjustifiably increase the price amounting to R740 million in relation to the procurement of 100 electric locomotives from the Chinese company CRS.
The move saw the price tag balloon from R3.87-billion to R4.84-billion for the acquisition of 100 locomotives.
The commission has also flagged the 60 % upfront payment for the locomotive contracts. It further recommended that former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama payback settlement money that he received amounting to R17 million. Last month Gama along with five other people were arrested for corruption in connection with the procurement of the locomotives. He was released on R50 000 bail.
The commission also recommended that President Cyril Ramaphosa take urgent steps to make sure that all cases relating to corruption at the passenger rail, Prasa are finalized as soon as possible. The commission has also called for former Prasa CEO, Lucky Montana to be investigated for acquiring a slew of properties.
It further recommends that the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions immediately appoint a team that will oversee investigations and prosecutions of those suspected of wrongdoing at the passenger rail service.
VIDEO: Recovery and transformation of Prasa’s rail network: Mesela Nhlapo
Some of the recommendations are that serious consideration be given to prosecuting three senior employees who played a role in the award of the locomotives contract to Swifambo and that prosecutions of Auswell Mashaba and Makhensa Mabunda be sped up.
Gupta chartered plane
The state capture commission does not recommend any action against former Chief of State Protocol Bruce Koloane or any other official who facilitated the landing of a Gupta chartered plane with 200 wedding guests at the Waterkloof military base in April 2013.
The commission says in the report that according to testimonies by all witnesses, it’s highly likely that then-President Jacob Zuma knew about the plans and did not object to them.
The landing of the plane at the air force base which is a national key point reserved for military use and the landing of state official guests caused a public outcry. The guests were flown in to attend the wedding of a Gupta family member at Sun City.
The commission says Koloane abused diplomatic channels, and the fact that he was later promoted as South African Ambassador to the Netherlands, was regrettable.
The commission says the probabilities are overwhelming that Zuma knew about the plans, and had no objection against their implementation and that the Guptas would have told him about the plans.
The report has found that is probable that Koloane acted on the instruction of or at the request of Zuma. And that the Waterkloof saga for which he is responsible, starkly demonstrates the scandalous influence of the Guptas in the highest office of the country.