South Africa’s Zondo Commission Report: Scandal, Bullying and Fear

Zuma has repeatedly stated that he is the victim of a political conspiracy

It reads like a playbook on how to corrupt the government.

A condemning report found that the scandal and the systematic process of dismissing key personnel from important government departments and lucrative state-owned enterprises, and then replacing them with close allies and submissive officials, was the nine years of Jacob Zuma’s tenure as President of South Africa. Sign.

In his huge 874-page report on high-level corruption allegations under Zuma’s leadership, Judge Raymond Zondo found that the former president promoted the Indian-born Gupta at the expense of the South African people. The interests of the family and close allies.

The Zuma and Gupta families have previously denied any wrongdoing.

The investigation found that abuses exist at every stage of public procurement, and the governance of state-owned enterprises has collapsed.

This process is called “state capture” and describes a form of corruption in which companies and politicians collude to influence a country’s decision-making process in order to promote their own interests.

Guptas moved to South Africa in 1993 and has a broad portfolio of companies that have signed lucrative contracts with South African government departments and state-owned companies.

They also hired several members of the Zuma family, including the president’s son Du Duzan, to hold senior positions.

Target tax authority

Judge Zondo found that the South African Revenue Service (Sars), once regarded as a world-class tax agency, is one of the key departments of the country to capture targets because “its investigative and law enforcement capabilities are an obstacle to those involved in organized crime.” .

The report found that under the leadership of Zuma ally Tom Moyane, the institution was systematically and deliberately weakened.

More than 2,000 highly-skilled senior staff have been lost, including investigators who were hunted down because of the prevailing culture of fear and bullying.

Tom Moyan

Tom Moyane has been severely criticized for his management of the South African tax agency

The report stated: “Although the process of selecting suitable candidates from many candidates was in progress at the time, Zuma promised Tom Moyan the work of Commissioner Sass before the appointment.”

“The only feasible conclusion is that the organization was deliberately captured, and President Zuma and Mr. Moyan played a key role in capturing SARS and dismantling it in the same way that Mr. Moyan was commissioner.

“The moment Mr. Moyan stepped there, what happened to SARS was inevitable. He removed the elements of governance one by one. This is not just mismanagement. It is seizing control of SARS. It’s as if it’s his,” it continued.

The committee recommended that Mr. Moyane be “accused of perjury on the false evidence he submitted to Parliament”.

So far, no suggestions have been made to accuse him of corruption, and he has not made any comments after the report was released.

Airline “suffered from fraud”

Also seriously implicated are another close ally of Zuma, former South African Airways (SAA) board chairman Dudu Myeni, her son Thalente, and several other former senior South African Airways officials.

The report stated that, under the supervision of Ms. Myeni, SAA was trapped in “an entity suffering from corruption and fraud.”

Judge Zondo found that there was “overwhelming and conclusive” evidence that Ms. Myeni had illegally benefited from the resources of the National Security Agency (SSA), was protected by undercover personnel, and had received training in counterintelligence strategies and intelligence gathering overseas.

The report stated that her contacts with senior SSA officials showed “how strong Ms. Myeni is and how close she is with President Zuma.”

She did not comment.

Judge Zondo accused Zuma of fleeing the committee, “because he knew he would be asked some questions that he couldn’t answer. This runs counter to the accountability system.”

The Gupta Brothers and Duduzan Zuma

Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane Zuma (pictured on the right) worked for the Gupta brothers

Zuma refused to cooperate with the investigation, arguing that Judge Zongduo was biased against him. This resulted in the former president being jailed for contempt of court in July 2021.

He was granted medical parole in September and was ordered back to prison by the High Court in December.

Zuma has appealed the decision and is still on parole.

The proceedings of the committee lasted more than three years for more than 400 days, and more than 300 witnesses appeared in court. Provided more than 1.7 million pages of documents as evidence.

The legal battle is here

Although the commission is an investigative agency and has no power to prosecute, President Cyril Ramaphosa passed an amendment at the end of July to allow law enforcement agencies to obtain information obtained in the commission.

It also allows committee staff to be hired or appointed as consultants by law enforcement agencies to expedite prosecutions.

The state prosecutors have been working to extradite the Gupta brothers, Atul, Rajesh and Tony.

Soon after Zuma was removed from office, they fled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2018 and their whereabouts are currently unknown.

Zuma, Mr. Moyane, Ms. Myeni, and others implicated in Judge Zondo’s report are likely to want to test the findings in court—because these revelations are not certain.

In view of what has happened in state capture-related cases in the past few years, a protracted legal battle is likely to follow.

This is just the first report of Justice Duo on Zuma’s corruption allegations. The other two books will be published before the end of February.

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