The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), one of South Africa’s leading opposition parties, says it is considering a motion of impeachment against President Jacob Zuma following the release of the much-anticipated “State Capture” report by the Public Protector (Ombudsman) here Wednesday.

The Office of the Public Protector published the report on its website after the Pretoria High Court earlier ordered that the report be released by no later than 5 pm Wednesday.

EFF leader Julius Malema says a commission needs to be established to look into the report. “This will need a commission to specifically look at this matter because she (the former Public Protector, who has recently completed her term of office) points out that the Guptas ( family with wide business interests in South Africa and abroad) knew that (former finance minister) Nhlanhla Nene will leave and if the Guptas knew that Nene is going tomorrow, it means someone told them. We are considering to present a motion on impeachment in parliament because all of this requires a clean president.”

In her report, former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela had recommended that President Jacob Zuma institute a commission of inquiry into the findings of corruption. She further submitted notice to the National Prosecuting Authority to investigate those implicated of criminal wrongdoing.

The 355-page report has implicated President Jacob Zuma, his son, Duduzane, Ministers Des Van Rooyen, who was originally appointed to succeed Nene as finance minister but who lasted only four days in the job before being asked to swop portfolios with Pravin Gordhan, the then Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, and Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, amongst others.

It details information on how the Gupta family may have influenced appointment of several board directors at State-owned enterprises, including power utility Eskom, defence equipment manufacturer Denel, South African Airways (SAA) and rail, port and pipeline company Transnet.

She also found the Gupta family may have had influence over the appointment of Cabinets members. This is in relation to the appointment of van Rooyen and Zwane as Ministers in 2015.

Madonsela’s observations suggest that Zuma may have broken the Executive Code of Ethics.

Meanwhile, the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), says the Pretoria High Court’s order compelling the release of the State Capture report is a victory for the country.

Party leader Mmusi Maimane said this would help in holding President Jacob Zuma accountable for his actions.

The ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) said it would respond on Thursday to the report released by the Public Protector’s office. NC Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the party takes the allegations in the report very seriously.

“There has been a lot of speculation about the report. At least now, we will be dealing with substances and factual issues before us. The ANC will respond comprehensively to the allegation, to the entire report tomorrow. We view the allegations of corporate state capture very seriously because they undermine among others, the confidence people have to their own organisation, but also it’s a direct attack in the values and principles of the constitutional democracy and the democratic state.”


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