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Ramaphosa should have spoken out against state capture - Chief Justice

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo handing over first part of the report of the commission of inquiry into state capture to President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings in January. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency(ANA)

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo handing over first part of the report of the commission of inquiry into state capture to President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings in January. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Jun 23, 2022

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Johannesburg - Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has found that President Cyril Ramaphosa should have spoken out against state capture during his predecessor Jacob Zuma's tenure.

In the final part of the commission of inquiry into the State Capture report, Justice Zondo said Ramaphosa's speaking out should have led the charge against wrongdoing when he was Zuma's deputy between 2014 and 2018.

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"In my view, if President Ramaphosa had spoken out – and he did not have to be confrontational – and spoken out firmly against state capture and wrongdoing, and President Zuma fired him, that stance could have given hope to a lot of other members of the Cabinet who may have been looking for someone to lead in this regard," Justice Zondo found.

He said there may have been many in the ANC who would have supported Ramaphosa and spoken out if Zuma fired him as the country's deputy president and that he would have continued as ANC deputy president.

"President Ramaphosa could have inspired others in the ANC to be more vocal, and the more voices became vocal, the less chances that those who were pursuing state capture would have continued as before," reads the report.

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According to the report, Ramaphosa had nothing to lose by speaking out against what was happening.

"The option he chose did not prevent state capture from continuing. There are changes in my view that if he was removed, that would have shaken those who were pursuing state capture," Justice Zondo found.

He added that Ramaphosa should have used Zuma's example after he was fired as the country's deputy president in 2005 after the conviction and jailing of his former financial advisor Schabir Shaik for fraud and corruption.

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"Accordingly, in my view, he should have spoken out. I accept that it may have been difficult to choose between the option of keeping quiet and keeping quiet but resisting. It would be untenable to send a message that if the same scenario were to happen again in the future, the right thing is not to speak out," Justice Zondo said.

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