Daniel Friedman
2 minute read
3 Oct 2018
2:21 pm

Ramaphosa repeats willingness to testify at Zondo inquiry

Daniel Friedman

Opposition politicians including Mmusi Maimane and Julius Malema have expressed their view that the president cannot be considered totally clean.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa during his address, 21 September 2018, Union Buildings, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Replying to a question in parliament on Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa repeated his declaration that he would willingly appear before the commission of inquiry into state capture chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo if asked.

The question was posed by Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota.

“The commission of inquiry into state capture is empowered to decide who should give evidence before it. If the commission asks me to appear before it, I will gladly oblige,” Ramaphosa answered.He added that he would encourage anyone in cabinet or senior government who may have information relevant to the commission to come forward and make themselves available to give evidence.

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This is not the first time that Ramaphosa has expressed his openness to testifying at the commission.

At a parliamentary question-and-answer session in September, he echoed these sentiments.

“As president of the ANC I can never dissociate myself and run away from a commission that we said should be set up,” he said.

“The issue of state capture is one that has affected all in the country. Details have come as a shock and things that were not apparent are now being put forward,” Ramaphosa continued.

“We are all paying attention to what is being said. We should continue to hear the evidence,” he said.

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The president also expressed a desire to “bring back” the money lost during the alleged looting of the state.

Whether Ramaphosa would indeed be asked to testify at the commission is unclear.

Opposition politicians including Mmusi Maimane and Julius Malema have expressed the opinion that, as vice president during Jacob Zuma’s term in office, Ramaphosa cannot be considered totally clean.

“I think we could elect anybody, and I think you can conclude that South Africans will feel much more optimistic just by virtue of where we were,” said Maimane in reaction to our current president’s first 100 days in office.

“But what we need to realise is that the view that Mr Ramaphosa is suddenly angelic and is flown from somewhere is amiss because he was the deputy president in Zuma’s administration for a number of years.”

Malema, meanwhile, accused Ramaphosa’s brother-in-law Patrice Motsepe of being guilty of “state capture” himself and doing the same thing the Guptas did, in his speech at the party’s fifth birthday celebrations in the Eastern Cape.

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