Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at Davos. File picture: Elmond Jiyane, GCIS

DAVOS-KLOSTERS - South Africa Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday described the pending commission of inquiry into state capture as a "huge plus", as "we are now going to go to the depths of what corruption has been taking place in our state-owned enterprises".

Ramaphosa was speaking during a press conference at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, shortly after the commission's terms of reference were published in the Government Gazette.

The terms included that any ill-gotten gains attained through a potentially compromised relationship between President Jacob Zuma and his family and the controversial Gupta family will be investigated by the Zondo Commission, to be headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

Ramaphosa said he had not yet seen the terms of reference set by Zuma and would "need time to look at them, to study them and see the extent to which they are going to enable the commission of inquiry to do its work effectively".

"For instance, I know that the deputy chief justice has been saying he needs those terms of reference to be out so that he can start his work," Ramaphosa said. 

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"But I think the positive thing about all these state capture processes is that, one, we are now going to go to the depths of what corruption has been taking place in our State-owned enterprises. I think that is a huge plus. 

"Two, we have got an independent judge who is going to look at all this," he added.

"Three, this process will go along in tandem with the process that needs to be followed through by the criminal justice system, of identifying who have committed wrong and making sure they are brought to book."

The National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) this month reportedly moved to freeze assets of about R1.6 billion belonging to the Gupta family who are at the centre of state capture allegations.

Ramaphosa, who is in Davos as the country deputy president and also the recently elected president of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), said the two processes should not be seen as excluding the other one. 

"The two processes will go ahead because where wrong has been committed, it must be followed through and those found to be responsible for that must be dealt with."

African News Agency/ANA