Former public protector Thuli Madonsela was among the first on Wednesday to state that the inquiry should focus on the findings of her controversial report titled State of Capture.
She said the commission’s purpose was to complete her report, and it should deal first with details that had arisen in it. The report delved into the Zuma administration’s dealings with the Gupta family.
Nothing stopped the president from then appointing another commission to look at grand corruption, she told Morning Live on SABC TV.
But her successor, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, later issued a statement saying the scope of the commission should be far wider.
Owing to the lack of resources and the inadequacy of the allocated funds, the State of Capture investigation had focused on 12 issues only, she said. “To ensure that no stone is left unturned in so far as the allegations of state capture are concerned, and in order to avoid any further allegations of state capture being lodged with the Office of the Public Protector, the public protector calls upon the president to ensure that the terms of reference are not limited to the issues investigated or identified in the State of Capture report.”
Having perused some of the evidence at her disposal and in the public domain, she also urged President Jacob Zuma to ensure that the terms of reference were broad enough to include the capture of all state institutions and state-owned entities (SOEs).
Mkhwebane said the ability of the commission to uncover the full extent of state capture in South Africa should not be constrained in any way.
She said the president should ensure that the commission head, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, had the power to expand the issues to be investigated should any relevant evidence of state capture be brought to him during the inquiry.
On Wednesday night at the ANC national executive committee meeting in East London, it emerged that Zuma would live to see another week at least as head of state.
On Wednesday the party’s special NEC gathering decided it would only focus on its January 8 statement, deferring all other matters to its scheduled ordinary meeting next week.
The speech is due to be delivered by new ANC president, Cyril Ramaphosa, on Saturday. Some of Ramaphosa’s supporters had wanted to use the first gathering of the party’s leaders to pass a motion of no-confidence in Zuma and have him recalled from the Union Buildings.
An NEC member, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the party’s Top Six confined the meeting’s agenda to the preparation of the January 8 statement when it finalised it on Tuesday night.
Zuma’s supporters appeared to consider the postponement of any other matters not on the agenda as a victory.
ANC NEC member and Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini confirmed the meeting confined itself to the agenda prepared by the Top Six. “It (Zuma’s recall) never arose,” Dlamini said.
Pressure has been mounting on Zuma to step down after last month’s national elective conference which saw Ramaphosa succeed him, as ANC stalwarts and the party’s allies, the SACP and Cosatu, stepped up their calls for Zuma to be ousted at on Wednesday’s meeting.
Zuma’s continued tenure is seen by Ramaphosa’s supporters as detrimental to the ANC’s electoral prospects in 2019.
Zuma’s supporters say he is not going anywhere and have vowed to defend him.