The Zondo Commission, update

The Zondo Commission, update

The Zondo Commission (officially, the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture) is a public inquiry launched by the government of South Africa in January 2018 to “investigate allegations of state capture, corruption, fraud, and other allegations in the public sector including organs of state”. The Commission has interviewed more than 300 witnesses and collected over 160,000 pages of evidence and much other data. It was set up, ironically enough, by then-President Zuma, Mr Corruption himself, following the recommendation of the most excellent public protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela. In 2016, Madonsela launched an investigation into state capture after receiving a formal complaint and her report on this recommended that a commission of inquiry into state capture be appointed. It is headed by senior judge Raymond Zondo. The Commission’s hearings have been available on YouTube and there have been regular news reports of its enquiries, many of which are very high-profile. It is also worth adding that Commission premises have been broken into, key personnel have been intimidated, witnesses have been warned off or experienced violence, death threats have been involved.

The Commission has now recently completed its public hearings and is in the report writing phase. Its report is bound to have a further explosive effect when it appears, given the forensic way in which Commission business has been conducted. There are many whispers as to its likely contents, although which of them are to be given credence and which not is by no means clear. It is a matter of watch this space. But what is very clear is that the Commission has laid bear the extraordinary extent of state capture at all levels and in all parts of the South African state, and that the ANC is not so much implicated in this as one of the key agents.

The Commission‘s activities have been very open, a large amount of documentation is available, the hearings are available on YouTube, and all this provides an outstanding set of information for anyone wanting to carry out a research project on either the Commission and its activities or the tentacles of state capture.

Last updated:  26 August 2021