DURBAN - THE RADICAL Economic Transformation group, which is known for backing former president Jacob Zuma, has rejected the state capture commission report which has recommended charges for several people aligned to the group and Zuma.
RET national champion Nkosentsha Shezi told the Daily News on Thursday that the report must be rejected with the contempt it deserved, saying it was a “gimmick”.
He said his group had noted that most of the people recommended to be charged in the report were those who were perceived to be aligned with RET.
Shezi also questioned the handing over of the report to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who he claimed was a player and referee since he was a witness and was also allegedly implicated.
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who chaired the judicial commission on allegations of state capture, made damning findings against Zuma, former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni, former SA Revenue Service (Sars) national commissioner Tom Moyane as well as former Transnet boss Brian Molefe.
“The whole thing was a gimmick. It was a failed project from its inception. How many times terms of reference were changed to suit a certain narrative? How do you give a report to someone who was implicated by a witness which the commission still has to determine the evidence led against? For us the report should have been given to an independent body like the public protector, which is the office where the allegations of state capture were first uncovered,” said Shezi.
Furthermore, he said people should be concerned about the money spent on the commission, which he said had come to R1 billion.
Shezi advised those who will be charged not to waste their time and money challenging the report in court because they were not going to win.
“If there were people which the report recommended to be charged, I would rather go and serve my time in jail than wasting money in courts. They can do so just to buy time but they will never win any case as long as the justice system is still like this, where the courts still do not see the need to unseal CR17 bank statements to show transparency and independence.”
A legal expert, advocate Mpumelelo Zikalala, who is the coastal Black Lawyers Association chairperson, said the report and its recommendations were a serious indictment of the state’s law enforcement agencies, saying it worried him that the recommendations would be successfully implemented since the Hawks and National Prosecuting Authority had not done anything while the corruption was taking place.
“My problem is that taxpayers might not see the value of the cost of the commission with these recommendations which could have been done by law enforcement agencies without having been told by the commission. I thought the commission would summon these law enforcement agencies to explain what they did to stop this rot and perhaps explain their challenges,” said Zikalala.
He added that another aspect which he felt lacking in the report, unless it was still coming with parts 2 and 3, was to hold politicians accountable, especially the role of ministers which these looted entities fell under, saying the public would want the commission to also recommend what should happen to the minister who failed to act against or allow corruption to take place in the entities of his department.
Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi said it was still too early for Zuma to comment, saying they felt they should rather wait for the entire report in February and then express their view.
Manyi, who is former a GCIS CEO, is among the high-profile individuals implicated in the report. He is accused of enabling state capture during his 18-month tenure as GCIS CEO.
According to the report, GCIS had in 2011 paid the now defunct The New Age R6.3 million despite the newspaper having no clear evidence of readership and circulation figures, and in 2012 GCIS spending increased to R8.2m.
The report indicated that after Manyi’s departure in August 2012, TNA received R9.5m in the 2013/2014 financial year and R9.9m in 2014/2015.
Manyi questioned the report, stating that it had only focused on him and failed to implicate those who had after his departure paid around R20m.
Meanwhile, Corruption Watch has said that the report provided an opportunity for civil society and the public to call for accountability and action when the president responds to it.
Executive director Karam Singh said that the report granted the public access to the findings and recommendations and ensured transparency in the steps taken to identify priorities that would help to fix weakened institutions and corruption-enabling loopholes.