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Zondo recommends that the people directly elect the president of the country

Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, who heads the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. PHOTO: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA).

Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, who heads the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. PHOTO: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA).

Published Jun 22, 2022

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Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has made a wide range of recommendations in the final report of the commission of inquiry into state capture.

The recommendations range from direct election of the president by the people to the formation of a permanent anti-state capture and corruption commission and a body that should oversee appointment of state-owned enterprise (SOE) board chairpersons and the executives.

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In his report, Zondo said consideration should be given to making necessary constitutional amendments to ensure that the president of the country is elected directly by the people.

He said the proposal was aimed at ensuring everyone who becomes the president did so on the basis of their own popularity with the people and not the party makes him or her president.

However, he said the acceptance of the recommendation and effecting necessary constitutional and legislative changes would not necessarily give the people a guarantee that they would not have the worst president.

“It will not be that the people voted for a party and it is the party that decided who should be the president of the country.”

The report said Parliament should consider whether it would be desirable to establish a committee whose function will be oversight over acts of omission by the president which are not overseen by existing portfolio committees.

It also recommended that Parliament consider whether introducing a constituency-based electoral system would enhance the capacity of MPs to hold the executive accountable.

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“If Parliament considers that introducing a constituency-based system has this advantage, it is recommended that it should consider whether, when weighed against any possible disadvantage, the advantage justifies amending the existing electoral system.”

The report also recommended that Parliament consider whether it would be desirable to enact legislation which protects MPs from losing their party membership merely for exercising their oversight duties reasonably and in good faith.

The commission has also recommended that a permanent commission be established to investigate, publicly expose acts of state capture and corruption in the way his commission did over the past four years, make findings and recommendations.

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Zondo said his inquiry found that president Jacob Zuma accountable.

“It will be necessary for the anti-state capture and corruption commission to keep an eye on how Parliament performs its oversight function and whether in respect of any particular matters, it has performed its oversight function effectively and has held the executive including the president accountable,” he added.

The report said the commission recommended the establishment of a standing appointment and oversight committee tasked to ensure that any person nominated for board appointment or as CEO, CFO or Chief Procurement Officer of an SOE meets the professional and eligibility requirements for such a position.

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“The committee will also investigate and act upon any complaints received concerning the misconduct of any board members or senior executive in the discharge of his or her duties.”

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