Zweli Mkhize, the ANC's treasurer-general Photo: ANA

ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday the judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture should be set up without delay.

Delivering an opening address at the third annual Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba in Sandton, Mkhize said there was a need for a judicial commission of inquiry  as far as the ANC was concerned. 

Mkhize said the commission should be set up expeditiously and acknowledged the delay in the finalisation of the commission's terms of reference, adding that there were various allegations that the government and the ANC were soft on corruption. 

"There are concerns around issues of clean governance and the fight against corruption. In this case, we must always state our commitment to deal with those issues and accept that, where there is criticism in that front, it is not necessarily misplaced," Mkhize said.

"Of late, looming large has been the issue of state capture. This terminology came from the ruling party. 

"An attempt initially by the ANC to investigate this quickly proved that this issue is too large for the ANC to investigate. It was quickly abandoned. 

"We agreed that it needed to be taken up by various institutions with the necessary capability and resources."

Mkhize said that the commission was an opportunity to deal with all the allegations of state capture, that such an investigation should be open to public scrutiny. 

He said statements and allegations against the Gupta family and the recent emails with alleged details of the family's improper business dealings needed to be investigated properly "so that we do not have to contend with the speculation about the veracity or lack thereof of such emails".

Mkhize also commented on the upcoming ANC national conference in December, saying that the ANC acknowledged its weaknesses which include divisions within the party, factionalism, and the manipulation of the organisation's structures. 

"It is not what happens within the party that becomes a challenge. It is when the issues inside the party spill over into the instruments of governance," Mkhize said.