How to Access the Zondo Commission Final Report Online
Zondo Commission Final Report: What You Need to Know
The Zondo Commission, also known as the State Capture Commission, was a public inquiry established in January 2018 by former President Jacob Zuma to investigate allegations of state capture, corruption, and fraud in the public sector in South Africa. The commission, led by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, concluded its hearings in August 2021 and submitted its final report to President Cyril Ramaphosa in June 2022. The report, which consists of six parts and over 5,000 pages, reveals how state resources were plundered and how political and economic decisions were influenced by a network of corrupt individuals and entities, especially the Gupta family, who had close ties with Zuma.
The report has been hailed as a landmark document that exposes the extent and impact of state capture on South Africa's democracy, governance, and development. It also makes several recommendations for legal action, institutional reform, and social accountability. In this article, we will provide you with an overview of what the report entails, how you can download it and access its contents, and what are its implications and challenges for South Africa's future.
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What is the Zondo Commission and why was it established?
The Zondo Commission was established in response to a 2016 report by the former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, titled State of Capture. The report implicated Zuma and other state officials in improper relationships with the Gupta family, a wealthy business clan that owned several companies that benefited from lucrative contracts with government departments and state-owned enterprises. The report also suggested that the Guptas had a hand in influencing cabinet appointments, policy decisions, and state tenders. Madonsela recommended that Zuma should appoint a commission of inquiry into state capture within 30 days.
Zuma initially challenged Madonsela's findings in court, but later agreed to appoint a commission after losing several legal battles. However, he insisted that he should have the power to choose the chairperson of the commission. The court ruled that this power should belong to the Chief Justice, who selected Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo as the head of the inquiry. Zondo was assisted by several other officials, including former Auditor-General Terence Nombembe as the head of the investigations team.
The commission began its work in January 2018 with a mandate to investigate allegations of state capture, corruption, and fraud in the public sector from 2011 to 2018. It was initially given 180 days to complete its task, but it received eight extensions from the court due to the complexity and volume of evidence. It held more than 400 days of public hearings, during which it heard testimony from more than 300 witnesses, including former ministers, senior officials, whistleblowers, journalists, academics, activists, and businesspeople. It also collected more than 1.7 million pages of documents and one exabyte of data as evidence.
What are the main findings and recommendations of the report?
State capture and corruption at various state institutions and entities
The report provides a detailed account of how state capture and corruption occurred at various levels and sectors of government. It identifies patterns of abuse at every stage of public procurement, such as irregular tender processes, inflated prices, substandard goods and services, kickbacks, money laundering, tax evasion, and wasteful expenditure. It also shows how governance collapsed at several state-owned enterprises (SOEs), such as Eskom (electricity), Transnet (transport), Denel (defence), SAA (airlines), PRASA (railways), SABC ( broadcasting), and SARS (revenue). It also exposes how state capture and corruption affected key institutions that are meant to uphold the rule of law and accountability, such as the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the Hawks (specialized police unit), the State Security Agency (SSA), and the Office of the Public Protector.
The report names several individuals and entities that were involved in or benefited from state capture and corruption, either directly or indirectly. These include former President Jacob Zuma, his son Duduzane Zuma, his allies in the ANC and government, such as Ace Magashule, Malusi Gigaba, Mosebenzi Zwane, Faith Muthambi, Des van Rooyen, David Mahlobo, and Bongani Bongo, among others. It also implicates the Gupta family and their associates, such as Salim Essa, Iqbal Sharma, Ashu Chawla, Anoj Singh, Matshela Koko, Brian Molefe, Siyabonga Gama, Lucky Montana, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, Tom Moyane, and others. It also mentions several private companies that colluded with or facilitated state capture and corruption, such as McKinsey, Trillian, Regiments Capital, KPMG, SAP, Bain & Company, Bosasa, and others.
The report makes several recommendations for legal action against the implicated individuals and entities. It urges the NPA to prosecute those who have committed criminal offences related to state capture and corruption. It also calls for civil litigation to recover the losses incurred by the state due to state capture and corruption. It also recommends that disciplinary action be taken against those who have breached their professional codes of conduct or ethics. It also suggests that sanctions be imposed on those who have violated international laws or norms.
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The role of former President Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family
The report devotes a whole part to the role of former President Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family in state capture and corruption. It describes how Zuma abused his power and authority to enable and protect the Guptas and their interests. It also details how the Guptas used their influence and resources to manipulate and interfere with state affairs. It also reveals how Zuma and the Guptas enriched themselves and their cronies at the expense of the public.
The report provides evidence of several instances where Zuma acted in favour of the Guptas or against their opponents. These include: - Appointing or removing ministers and officials based on the Guptas' wishes or instructions - Intervening in or influencing policy decisions or state contracts that benefited the Guptas or their businesses - Ignoring or undermining reports or complaints that exposed the Guptas' wrongdoing or malfeasance - Obstructing or delaying investigations or prosecutions that targeted the Guptas or their associates - Defending or justifying the Guptas' actions or reputation in public or private - Receiving financial or other benefits from the Guptas or their associates The report also provides evidence of several instances where the Guptas acted in collusion with or against Zuma or other state actors. These include: - Offering or soliciting bribes, favours, jobs, or contracts to or from ministers, officials, politicians, or businesspeople - Leaking or obtaining confidential information or documents from or to state institutions or entities - Meddling in or influencing internal affairs or processes of state institutions or entities - Threatening or intimidating witnesses, whistleblowers, journalists, activists, or opponents - Creating or spreading propaganda or misinformation to advance their agenda or discredit their critics - Fleeing or evading justice when faced with legal action
The report concludes that Zuma and the Guptas were the main architects and beneficiaries of state capture and corruption in South Africa. It holds them accountable for undermining democracy, governance, and development in the country. It recommends that they be prosecuted for various offences related to state capture and corruption.
The impact of state capture on the economy and society
The report also assesses the impact of state capture on South Africa's economy and society. It estimates that state capt