By Pinky Khoabane
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo
President Jacob Zuma has just announced the appointment of a commission of inquiry into state capture. This is ahead of tomorrow’s all important ANC National Executive Committee (NEC). Speculation has been rife that it is here where he will be persuaded to resign in the interest of the ANC.
In other legal events related to the President, Parliament’s National Assembly Subcommittee on Review of Rules is scheduled to, tomorrow and the day after, to deliberate on a draft procedure for implementing section 89(1) of the Constitution: Removal of President.
This follows the Constitutional Court’s judgment handed down on 29 December 2017 that the National Assembly had failed to put in place proper rules regulating a procedure for section 89(1) of the Constitution. The Constitutional Court ordered the National Assembly to make such rules without delay to initiate a process under section 89(1), in terms of the newly developed rules.
In a statement released by Parliament on Sunday, Parliament said: “In keeping with the Assembly’s commitment to comply fully with the Constitutional Court’s majority judgment, Members of Parliament serving on the National Assembly Rules Subcommittee have been notified of the forthcoming meetings and supplied with documents to be considered there”.
President’s Full Statement on the appointment of commission of inquiry into state capture
Fellow South Africans
Pursuant to the investigation and remedial action of the Public Protector regarding complaints and allegations of the State of Capture, as well as the orders issued by the North Gauteng High Court in its judgment of 14 December 2017, I have decided to appoint a Commission of Inquiry.
The Court ordered that, among other things, the remedial action of the Public Protector is binding and that the President is directed to appoint a commission of inquiry within 30 days, headed by a judge solely selected by the Chief Justice. The Court also ordered that I should personally pay the costs of the review.
I have appealed the cost order as well as the order regarding the duties of the President to appoint commissions of inquiry in terms of section 84 of the Constitution.
However, I am taking further legal advice on the prosecution of this appeal. I am concerned that this matter has occupied the public mind for some time now and deserves urgent attention.
I have only appealed the orders to the extent that they set a particular precedent for the Office of the President of the Republic and are indeed deserving of legal certainty.
The allegations that the state has been wrestled out of the hands of its real owners, the people of South Africa, is of paramount importance and are therefore deserving of finality and certainty.
Accordingly, I have decided that, while the issues determined by the order require final determination by higher courts, this matter cannot wait any longer.