Commission begins probing widespread gov't corruption in South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – A Commission of Inquiry into allegations of widespread government corruption by senior officials including former President Jacob Zuma, on Monday began hearings in Johannesburg.

The commission which is chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo was mandated to subpoena past and present government officials following former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s explosive 2016 report that implicated Zuma and numerous other senior politicians in widespread graft at state-owned entities including South African Airways and the power utility Eskom.

Zuma is accused of using his influence to secure multiple lucrative government contracts for the wealthy Indian Gupta family as well as his own son, Duduzane, who was employed by the family’s company. Former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas and Vytjie Mentor, a senior member of the ruling African National Congress have both claimed that they were offered ministerial positions by the Gupta family.

In addition, former Government Communication and Information System chief executive officer Themba Maseko has claimed that Zuma had personally called him asking him to help out the Guptas who wanted government advertising to be channeled to a newspaper they owned. The newspaper has since folded.

The scandal blew the lid off the Zuma administration and helped sweep Cyril Ramaphosa into office on a ticket of clean governance last year.

Zuma has been asked to give evidence in person at the inquiry and it remains to be seen whether he will appear.
The hearings are expected to last between three and six weeks. Several members of the Gupta family are on the run and efforts are underway to have them extradited back to South Africa.
-0- PANA CU/MA 20Aug2018

20 august 2018 09:43:38

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