Durban - More than eight million pages of documentary evidence and 75 000 pages of transcribed oral evidence have been printed since the start of the Judicial Commission’s Inquiry into State Capture.
This, according to part 1 of the Commission’s report, which Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo handed over to President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday.
The Commission’s first witness took the stand on August 20, 2018, and the last on August 12, 2021.
With the average price for a ream of paper (500 sheets) at around R90, just over R1,5 million was spent on paper alone, proving the former president Jacob Zuma and his co-conspirators, mainly the Gupta’s, enabled state capture.
The report also revealed that hearings took place for over 400 days and heard over 300 witness testimonies and 1,438 entities and people were implicated by evidence given before the Commission’s inquiry.
The Commission initially had 180 days to prove state capture. It filed for six extensions, which resulted in the inquiry lasting around four and a half years (54 months).
Part one of the report, an 865-page document, looked into the inner workings of South African Airways (SAA) and its associated companies during the Zuma reign.
The report found the state of SAA had declined under the tenure of Dudu Myeni, chairperson of the board at the time. Zondo said despite poor governance at the national airline, Myeni retained her position “well beyond the point at which she should have been removed”.
“President Zuma fled the commission because he knew there were questions that would be put to him which he would not have been able to answer. He could not have justified his insistence that Ms Myeni is retained.
“Those responsible for governance at SAA, SAAT (South African Airways Technical) and SA Express displayed a wanton disregard for these standards. Rather than acting in the entities’ best interests, they were motivated by their own personal interest,” Zondo said.
In the matter relating to the South African Revenue Service (Sars), Zondo said Zuma and former Sars commissioner Tom Moyane played a “critical role” in dismantling the country’s revenue collection services.
He said Moyane attempted to seize control of Sars as if it was his to have, adding that he should be charged with perjury after giving false evidence before Parliament.
“The Sars evidence is a clear example of how the private sector colluded with the executive, including President Zuma, to capture an institution that was highly regarded internationally and render it ineffective.
“Sars was systemically and deliberately weakened, chiefly through the restructuring of its institutional capacity, strategic appointments and dismissals of key individuals, and a pervasive culture of fear and bullying. It is a clear example of state capture,” ACJ Zondo said.