African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa says he is not at the State Capture Commission to make excuses for the governing party or defend the indefensible.

The ANC President has begun testifying before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

Ramaphosa’s much anticipated two-part appearance before the Commission is expected to focus on among others his tenure as party deputy president, including his role as the chairperson of the ANC Cadre Deployment Committee.

Commission Chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, has thanked Ramaphosa for agreeing to testify in Wednesday’s proceedings.

“Mr President, we are happy that you are here, representing the ruling party. We are happy that the President of the party is the one who comes to give evidence to the commission. I also want to say that your appearance before this commission is not a result of a decision taken recently, it is a decision that was taken in 2018 as you will remember,” says Zondo.

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Ramaphosa has reiterated the ANC and government’s support for the work of the Commission as part of strengthening the country’s democracy.

“The ANC has taken this position knowing that the organisation itself would be placed under great scrutiny and that the process of examining these matters will be difficult and painful for the ANC. Nevertheless, the ANC maintains that this commission is a necessary part of the broader social effort of ending all forms of state capture and corruption,” says Ramaphosa.

Change of dates for Ramaphosa’s May appearance

Meanwhile, Judge Zondo says Ramaphosa’s office will be advised on the change of dates in May for the President to appear before the commission.

Ramaphosa was due to appear before the commission on the 13th and 14th of May – to provide evidence as the President of the country and the Deputy President during the Jacob Zuma administration.

“Mr President, currently you are due to return to the commission wearing your cap as President of the country in mid-May. But I indicated that we will have to advise your office that those dates will have to be moved towards later in May. Because there are still a number of witnesses that the commission would still like to hear [from],” adds Zondo.