PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma stood his ground by describing the former public protector Thuli Madonsela State of Capture report as a political tool. During an exclusive interview with ANN7 and The New Age, Zuma was asked about the popular narrative that holds him and the Guptas responsible for state capture and corruption. Zuma replied by saying the term state capture was being used for political reasons.
“It is wrong, this term state capture is used for political reasons. Parliament or the executive are not captured. They talk about individuals but claim the state has been captured,” he said.
The report recommended Zuma establish a commission of inquiry into state capture and that chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng choose the judge to preside over the inquiry. The report looked into whether Zuma’s friends, the controversial Gupta family, had undue influence over the executive.
Zuma took the recommendation on review, arguing that only he had the authority to appoint the judge. “When I establish the commission of inquiry, one thing they will have to establish is what is state capture? Is that phrase correct? If one person is captured you can’t make it grand by calling it state capture,” Zuma said.
On whether the state capture report was inconclusive, Zuma said: “I cannot answer, I don’t know why it was done. Many people were waiting for interviews to clarify their position. I think there were political reasons, that this report was to be used to deal with a number of other people.”