South Africa’s Office of the Public Protector has released the (#StateCapture) report on an investigation into the alleged improper and unethical conduct by the President and other state functionaries relating to alleged improper relationships and involvement of the Gupta family in the removal and appointment of Ministers and Directors of State-Owned Enterprises resulting in improper and possibly corrupt award of state contracts and benefits to Gupta family’s businesses.
The release of the report follows a court order to have the report made public by 17:00 (CAT) today. Investigations into what has come to be known as the State Capture by the Gupta family was conducted by the Public Protector’s office during the tenure of former Head Advocate Thuli Madonsela.
The Report is available for download below.
“The investigation emanates from complaints lodged against the President by Father S. Mayebe on behalf of the Dominican Order, a group of Catholic Priests, on 18 March 2016 (The First Complainant); Mr. Mmusi Maimane, the leader of the Democratic Alliance and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament on 18 March 2016 (The Second Complainant), in terms of section 4 of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act, 82 of 1998 (EMEA); and a member of the public on 22 April 2016 (The third Complainant), whose name I have withheld.
The complaints followed media reports alleging that the Deputy Minister of Finance, Hon. Mr. Mcebisi Jonas, was allegedly offered the post of Minister of Finance by the Gupta family long before his then colleague Mr. Nhlanhla Nene was abruptly removed by President Zuma on December 09, 2015. The post was allegedly offered to him by the Gupta family, which alleged has a long standing friendship with President Zuma’s family and a business partnership with his son Mr. Duduzane Zuma. The offer allegedly took place at the Gupta residence in Saxonwold, City of Johannesburg Gauteng. The allegation was that Ajay Gupta, the oldest of three Gupta brothers who are business partners of President Zuma’s son, Mr. Duduzane Zuma, in a company called Oakbay, among others, offered the position of Minister of Finance to Deputy Minister Jonas and must have influenced the subsequent removal of Minister Nene and his replacement with Mr. Des Van Rooyen on 09 December 2015, who was also abruptly shifted to the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs portfolio 4 days later, following a public outcry.
Local media reports also alleged that Ms. Vytjie Mentor was offered the post of Minister for Public Enterprises in exchange for cancelling the South African Airways (SAA) route to India and that President Zuma was at the Gupta residence when the offer was made and immediately advised about the same by Ms. Mentor. The media reports alleged that the relationship between the President and the Gupta family had evolved into “state capture” underpinned by the Gupta family having power to influence the appointment of Cabinet Ministers and Directors in Boards of SOEs and leveraging those relationships to get preferential treatment in state contracts, access to state provided business finance and in the award of business licenses…”