Johannesburg- The first part of the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector is a defining moment in our country’s effort to end the era of state capture and restore the integrity, credibility and capability of our institutions, and more importantly, our government.
This occasion marks the beginning of the final phase of the commission’s work, which will culminate in the submission of the remaining parts of the report by February 28.
For nearly four years, Justice Raymond Zondo has pursued this profound responsibility with dedication, determination and a great deal of patience.
I wish to acknowledge and commend the South African people, whose shared determination to end corruption and demand clean governance enabled the establishment and work of the commission. It was the people of this country who stood up to what they saw as acts of gross wrongdoing and abuse of power.
We have a collective responsibility to ensure the findings and recommendations of the commission not only mark a decisive break with the corrupt practices of the past, but that they provide the foundation for greater transparency, accountability and ethical conduct within all state institutions and across society.
This commission would not have reached this stage had the whistleblowers in various entities not come forward to uncover some of these acts of wrongdoing, often at great risk and cost to themselves. We need to thank them for their courage and service to the country.
As required by the ruling of the Gauteng High Court on December 28 2021 – and in line with the remedial action contained in the public protector’s report dated October 2016 – I will submit the full commission report to parliament by June 30 with an indication of my intentions with regards to implementation of the commission’s recommendations.
Only once the final instalment has been received will it be possible to have complete sight of the report’s implications and to develop an implementation plan on the recommendations.
The government will therefore not make pronouncements on the findings nor recommendations of the commission’s report before having received all parts of the report. We will, however, commence with the consideration of the parts of the report as they are submitted to the Presidency, and will be putting in place appropriate mechanisms to process the findings and recommendations.
This process, which we expect will culminate in the submission of the report and implementation plan to parliament by the end of June, does not prevent
other institutions from acting within their statutory mandate on any of the findings and recommendations.
While the terms of reference of the commission require the submission of the commission’s report and recommendation to the president, the reality is that the report really belongs to the people.
The people of South Africa fought for the establishment of the commission, have closely observed the proceedings and have the greatest interest in the outcome of Zondo’s commission.
Perhaps the most devastating and lasting cost of state capture and corruption is its effect on the confidence of the South African people in the leaders and officials in whom they placed great trust and responsibility. State capture has damaged people’s confidence in the rule of law, in public institutions, in law-enforcement agencies and to some extent, in the democratic process.
That is what makes the work of this commission so essential. The people of South Africa look to this commission to uncover the truth, to identify those
responsible, and to recommend measures that will prevent state capture from happening again in South Africa.
As a country, we are emerging from a difficult period. Together, we have chosen a path of rebuilding and renewal, of transparency and accountability, of justice and the rule of law. I have every confidence that, no matter the challenges we face, we will walk this path together as South Africans and we will prevail.
This report enables us to up our tempo in the fight against state capture, and if we work together, we will be able to rid our country of the gross actions of corruption we have seen in the past.
- This is an edited extract of President Ramaphosa’s speech during the handover of the first part of State Capture Commission Report