South Africa opens inquiry into alleged corruption against Zuma

Bloomberg

Bloomberg

In a scandal known as "state capture", Mr Zuma is accused of granting the Guptas, a wealthy business family, influence over government appointments, contracts and state-owned businesses.

Accusations of graft attended Zuma's presidency before he was forced to step down in February.

Former president Jacob Zuma's lawyers have asked for more time to peruse documentation that will help them to prepare a defence against those accusing their client of enabling state capture.

Mr Zuma was ordered to set up the commission by the high court last December following a report by the public protector, South Africa's anti-graft body.

In a statement submitted to the Zondo inquiry into state capture, Mentor for the first time names Kaunda as the person who allegedly called her in 2010 to arrange a meeting with the family at their compound in Saxonwold.

Among the cases it reviewed was an allegation by Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas that the Guptas offered to secure him his boss's job, as well as claims that Zuma directed state firms to award tenders to the Guptas.

Vytjie Mentor, The former ANC MP alleged she had been offered a cabinet post, the position of minister of public enterprises, by the Gupta family.

Deputy Chief Justice Ray Zondo, speaking on the first sitting of his commission hearings, said the number submissions thus far had been very disappointing.

State institutions were sacrificed to protect the individuals within the party.

Legal teams representing some of the inquiry's key players - including Zuma and members of the Gupta family - have pledged maximum cooperation.

The local Sunday Times said Zuma has been invited to appear, but the commission's spokesman declined to comment.

It was unclear on Monday whether Zuma or the Guptas - who all deny any wrongdoing - will appear at the inquiry, which is empowered to make recommendations for prosecutions.

It will hear testimonies into allegations of widespread corruption and abuse of power by senior government officials.

Jonas has alleged he was taken by Zuma to the Guptas' home in Johannesburg where Ajay Gupta said he would be appointed finance minister and paid 600 million rand for acting favourably toward the family's interests.

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