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Should Chief Justice Zondo hand over a corruption report to a president riddled with corruption allegations?

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo hands over the Zondo Commission report to President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency(ANA)

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo hands over the Zondo Commission report to President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Jun 22, 2022

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Will Chief Justice and commission chairperson Judge Raymond Zondo overlook the Glencore scandal in his state capture report?

Glencore International pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $1.186 billion (R18bn) in fines and penalties for corrupt practices in dealing with foreign governments.

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Zondo will today hand over the fifth and final Judicial Commission of Inquiry report into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector, including Organs of State to President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings.

The Presidency will publish the final report shortly after it is presented to the president.

Ramaphosa could not have been in the dark about the Glencore scandal, he was the chairperson of this company.

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Shouldn’t Ramaphosa have said something? Should Zondo have articulated the measurement of corruption in this? How does the chief justice, an honourable man, present a report to a man who was found with a foreign currency which was undeclared, not presented before Sars, an unknown amount of money and it’s still unknown where he got it from.

There are allegations of kidnapping and torture against the sitting president, the head of state, and he receives a report on corruption? Ramaphosa is conflicted.

Is Zondo going to overlook Ramaphosa’s serious allegations levelled against him? Is it because of factional purpose or is it because of friendship or a reward for being appointed as chief justice?

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According to the report from the interviews, Supreme Court of Appeal president Mandisa Maya was supposed to be the chief justice.

Last month, former Eskom chief executive Matshela Koko said he was consulting lawyers about igniting fresh investigations into Ramaphosa-linked Glencore and its dirty deals at the power utility.

This comes after the international company made headlines around the world for corruption and a bribery network that sought to advance the company’s international influence.

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Former Eskom boss Brian Molefe has in the past accused Glencore of supplying sub-standard coal to Eskom. Speaking to The Star, Koko said he was vindicated by the US justice system as they were not afraid to investigate Glencore and find evidence of corruption against the company.

The African Energy Chamber has called for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to terminate the membership of Switzerland-based commodities and mining multinational Glencore.

Glencore is the same company that Former Eskom bosses Brian Molefe and Koko both testified at the State Capture commission that there had been an adversarial relationship between the power utility and Glencore, with President Cyril Rampahosa’s knowledge.

Ramaphosa was at the time head of government business and overseeing Eskom, and also chairperson of Glencore at the same time.

Koko, who spoke to The Star earlier, raised several red flags about Glencore's dealings with the parastatal. He accused the Zondo Commission of shrugging off his testimony. He said the findings in the US were proof that the Zondo Commission was flawed.

“I have always held the view that Glencore is not an honest company. My experiences with the deals at Eskom was that no deals would happen ordinarily,” Koko said.

The AEC said that in accepting the guilty plea, it is undisputed that while committing the aforementioned crimes, Glencore was a member of the EITI – an initiative that prides itself in being a global standard for the good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources.

“At its core, EITI’s mission is to ‘promote the understanding of natural resource management, strengthen public and corporate governance and accountability, and provide the data to inform policy-making and multi-stakeholder dialogue in the extractive sector, with members committing to the EITI standard,” said the AEC.

The Chamber said that Glencore’s actions infringed upon the mission, values and objectives of the EITI.

“The Chamber urges the EITI to be firm and clear in protecting the African extractive industry. This is the time for EITI to stand up for the very mission the organisation prides itself in: transparency and accountability.

“Glencore has not only violated the rules of the initiative itself but has imposed immoral, unacceptable and illegal actions on Africa’s energy industry. The termination of Glencore’s membership is critical. By doing so, EITI will signal that the crimes Glencore has admitted to are not condoned or tolerated by EITI,” said executive chairperson of the AEC, NJ Ayuk.

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