President Jacob Zuma File picture: EPA

Parliament - President Jacob Zuma on Thursday told the National Assembly he has never meddled in the awarding of state contracts and intended appointing a commission of inquiry to probe allegations of state capture.

Zuma was replying to a question submitted by official opposition leader Mmusi Maimane. He said he had never told anybody to give a particular contract to a particular person.

"The issues raised by the leader of the opposition are similar to the issues that were investigated by the Public Protector in the report titled "State of Capture", I have stated on numerous occasions my intention to establish a commission of inquiry to investigate the matters raised in the report," he added.

"I am pursuing this course."

Zuma has challenged the directive given by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela that the head of the commission be appointed by the Chief Justice, not the president.

He contends that the constitution makes it his prerogative alone to appoint the leaders of commissions of inquiry.