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By Editorial staff

Journalist


Zondo pulls no punches in state capture report

He said that “Egregious violations of the constitution have been demonstrated", and suggested R200 million or 20 years in jail for such.


A danger with the tsunami of evidence at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture is that is it is so overwhelming that many ordinary people could find themselves in the “my eyes glaze over” position.

Commission chair Judge Raymond Zondo appears to be aware of that, as he fires off hard-hitting barb after barb at Jacob Zuma and the sleazy network of people who seemed to have existed solely to divert state resources – read taxpayer money – in the direction of the Gupta family and their henchmen.

And Zondo is also acutely aware – even though it is beyond the scope of his mandate to put people in jail – that South Africa wants to see justice done… while it is blindingly obvious that most of those implicated have yet to see the inside of a courtroom.

So, in Tuesday’s second part of volume 2 of the commission’s report, Zondo pulled no punches in stating why our legal system, as it is currently constituted, is ill-equipped to deal with the weapons-grade looting of the Zuma-Gupta crew.

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He wrote about the “inadequacy of punitive measures which currently form part of our law”.

“Egregious violations of the constitution have been demonstrated,” he said, going on to suggest that “government give consideration to creation of a statutory offence making it a criminal offence for any person vested with public power to abuse that power”.

In a clear reference to Zuma, Zondo said such a law would apply “right from the president who hands a large portion of the national wealth or access to that wealth to an unauthorised recipient” to “the junior official” using his or her position to take revenge on a colleague.

Such an offence should attract a fine of R200 million or 20 years in jail… or both. To that, we can only say: it’s about time.