South Africa opens inquiry into alleged graft under former President Jacob Zuma

Andrew Cummings
August 23, 2018

The inquiry into State Capture begins on Monday and is expected to look into the Gupta family's rise to the pinnacle of the country's financial and political echelons.

The inquiry will detail the extent of the alleged corruption and abuse of power at state-owned entities.

Mentor made headlines after coming out publicly with the revelation that she was offered a job by the Guptas in exchange for her influence.

"This commission is an opportunity for all of us in this country to contribute to finding solutions to, one, state corruption, and two, state capture", he said.

However former president Zuma has been invited by the commission to answer in person to allegations that he directly facilitated favours for the Guptas to help the family get government business.

Accusations of graft attended Zuma's presidency before he was forced to step down in February.

The first witnesses to appear before the commission include a former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, an ANC lawmaker Mabel Mentor and the former government spokesman Themba Maseko.

The Sunday Times on Sunday reported that Jacob Zuma was asked by commission chair Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to answer questions about his alleged involvement with the Gupta family.

Former Public Enterprises Minister, Lynne Brown, who has also been linked to allegations of state capture and corruption, was represented by Welcome Lusanga subject to confirmation of instruction.

What are the allegations against Zuma?

The inquiry will also investigate whether Mr Zuma, and any other public officials, and their families, benefitted from the awarding of public contracts.

It was unclear on Monday whether Zuma or the Guptas - who all deny any wrongdoing - will appear at the inquiry, which is empowered to make recommendations for prosecutions.

Should Zuma disagree with the evidence given‚ his lawyers will have to formally apply for the right to cross-examine the witness or witnesses whose evidence he disputes.

Jonas has alleged he was taken by Zuma to the Guptas' home in Johannesburg where Ajay Gupta said he would be appointed finance minister.

Former South African President Jacob Zuma dances after his court appearance in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, July 27, 2018.

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