“There should be an inquiry into state capture by the business community. State capture is now big thing. We now all agree we need to do it [the inquiry] and cannot pick and choose‚” said Zuma.
“That will help us because we are going to stop depending on rumours and allegations‚ but we will depend on facts so that people do not pile allegation after allegation‚” the President said.
A collection of email correspondence between the Gupta family and their associates‚ including cabinet ministers and Zuma’s son‚ Duduzane‚ have revealed how the Gupta’s have been influencing government operations in recent months.
The state capture allegations have led to renewed calls for Zuma to step down.
This week‚ the ANC backed the establishment of a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture‚ but said it should go beyond the findings of the Public Protector‚ and investigate the extent of business influence on the state from 1994.
Zuma said during Wednesday’s debate that what had delayed the establishment of the inquiry into state capture was the manner in which former public protector Thuli Madonsela directed how the inquiry should be carried out.
Madonsela explicitly recommended that the chief justice appoint a judge to oversee the commission‚ as Zuma was implicated in the matter.
Late last year‚ the President asked the High Court in Pretoria to review and set aside the remedial action recommendations contained in Madonsela’s swansong “State of Capture” report.
WATCH: Confused! Here are the latest #GuptaEmail reveals
The main opposition parties‚ the DA and the EFF‚ boycotted Thursday’s session as they continue to push for his removal. The EFF has officially taken a stance not to listen to Zuma speak as it does not recognise him as president of the country.
Last year‚ opposition parties also boycotted Zuma’s reply to the budget vote debate‚ calling for his removal from office following a damning Constitutional Court ruling that found the President had failed to uphold the Constitution.
Bekezela Phakathi – Tiso Black Star Group/BusinessLIVE