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Zondo report deeply disturbing, but will help the country: Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the findings of the state capture inquiry will help the country rebuild. File image.
President Cyril Ramaphosa says the findings of the state capture inquiry will help the country rebuild. File image.  
Image: Alaister Russell

Two weeks after receiving the first of three parts of the state capture inquiry report, President Cyril Ramaphosa says it “paints a deeply disturbing picture of how democracy was compromised with criminal intent”.

The report lifted the lid on how several public institutions were infiltrated, looted and damaged, including SAA, the SA Revenue Service (Sars) and the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). It also dealt with the Gupta-owned The New Age newspaper.

Writing in his Monday weekly newsletter, Ramaphosa said though the findings were disturbing, they would assist the country in rebuilding.     

“This part of the report paints a deeply disturbing picture of how key institutions of our democracy were compromised and undermined with criminal intent. Not only were significant amounts of money stolen, but these institutions were not able to properly fulfil the functions for which they were established.”

Several high-profile politicians, businesspeople and individuals are implicated in alleged corruption and looting of taxpayers’ money. 

“The findings and recommendations of the Zondo Commission will help the country to rebuild these institutions and to hold those responsible to account. We must ensure we use them to safeguard these institutions into the future so they may never be captured again,” Ramaphosa said.  

Among startling findings, the report found former president Jacob Zuma and then Sars boss Tom Moyane played a “critical role” in dismantling the tax authority, and  former GCIS boss Mzwanele Manyi was an “enabler” of state capture when he dished out millions of rand worth of advertising to the The New Age (TNA) newspaper. It also stated that government could not be trusted with the “ultimate responsibility” to lead the fight against corruption.

Ramaphosa said all these findings and more should be used as a benchmark to defend the constitutional order. 

“The things we have read in the report should strengthen our resolve to defend the institutions of our democracy, all the entities of our state and our democratic constitutional order. 

“We must safeguard against efforts to diminish our hard-won democracy, whether these take the form of corruption in state-owned enterprises, the subversion of our law enforcement agencies, the sabotage of economic infrastructure, or attacks on the independence and integrity of our judiciary,” he said.

The commission, chaired by acting chief justice Raymond Zondo, is expected to hand over the remaining two batches of the report before the end of February.

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