S. African deputy president refuses to set up inquiry panel on state capture – Xinhua

CAPE TOWN, July 15 (Xinhua) — South African Deputy President Ramaphosa on Saturday voiced opposition to an attempt seeking a court ruling to order him to establish a Commission of Inquiry into the allegations of state capture.

This came after several civil organizations fielded an application to the Constitutional Court, requesting the court to order Ramaphosa to establish a Commission of Inquiry into the alleged state capture.

Ramaphosa said he opposes this application based on his understanding that the Constitution does not permit the Deputy President to exercise presidential powers.

However, Ramaphosa reiterated his widely stated support for the establishment, without delay, of a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture.

In the court bid, the AfriForum, the Quaker Peace Centre and the F.W. de Klerk Foundation are seeking a ruling to get President Jacob Zuma to recuse himself from appointing such a judicial commission.

They ask the Constitutional Court to declare Zuma unable to appoint the commission’s judge, as he was “conflicted”. Instead they want an order to compel Ramaphosa to appoint the Commission of Inquiry.

Zuma is embroiled in the alleged state capture, which refers to systemic political corruption in which private interests significantly influence a state’s decision-making processes to their own advantage.

The case in point is Zuma’s close ties with the wealthy Indian Gupta family which has wielded undue influence on Zuma in the appointment of cabinet ministers and the awarding of lucrative contracts with state-owned enterprieses.

Both Zuma and the Guptas have denied the allegations.

Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela last year called for a judicial commission to be established to investigate state capture allegations.

Zuma has said he was not opposed to the commission, but his legal team had advised him that the Public Protector had no legal or constitutional right to tell him what to do.