Former South African President Jacob Zuma. Picture: AP Photo

Johannesburg - Former president Jacob Zuma has again denied the existence of state capture this is despite a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture currently underway. 

Speaking to students at Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha, in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday, Zuma told them not to believe the political talk about the existence of state capture. 

He said the state was composed of three branches, the judiciary, legislature, and the executive and demanded to know which of these branches were captured. 

“There is no state that is captured, the judiciary is not captured, Parliament is not captured? So where is the state capture?” he asked. 

“Where is the state capture? Why do we just swallow what is given?”

“There is no state capture in SA, there are people who did things to others, but there is no such thing called state capture. Let us not swallow everything that is given to us,” said Zuma.

His critique comes amid hearings into state capture being chaired by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo. Zuma appointed the inquiry earlier this year to investigate allegations of state capture levelled against the controversial Gupta family. 

The family is accused of using its friendship with Zuma to enrich themselves through corrupt dealings involving government officials and the swindling of billions from state-owned enterprises. 

The inquiry began hearing witnesses in August. It heard evidence from six witnesses. Zuma’s name has been mentioned in testimonies from former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor and former GCIS CEO Themba Maseko. 

Mentor told the inquiry that Ajay Gupta had offered her a ministerial post during a meeting at the Gupta home in Saxonworld. She said Zuma walked into the room and tried to calm her down as she related Gupta’s offer. 

Maseko implicated Zuma in his testimony saying the former president had asked him to help the Gupta family. The family wanted access to the GCIS media advertising buying budget. 

Zuma has not applied to cross-examine witnesses as he believes he has not been implicated criminally or ethically. 

The former president has often denied allowing the Gupta family to appoint ministers on his behalf.
 
Zuma said, during his wide-ranging speech on free-education, that he doesn’t believe the country is economically free. 

"We are still colonised economically,"

Zuma said he would speak to the African Union as colonizers were benefiting from mineral resources. 

Political Bureau