Against high expectations, Corruption Watch has announced that it will not be investigating the alleged state capture by the Gupta family not just because it had limited resources but also because there are three other investigations.
The organization’s David Lewis announced this saying “We’re very interested in this and we’ll watch it very closely.” It says for the mean time, launching their own investigation would not be possible.
The organization further stated that the possibility of finding president Jacob Zuma guilty of corruption charges depends on when he is found to be abusing the appointment of ministers to benefit business interests.
Lewis says there could be serious implications for Zuma, but this will be determined by the outcome of three separate investigations that are underway.
The cry for the organization alongside Public protector’s office to investigate the alleged involvement of the Guptas in the political running of the country came to its peak when Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas revealed he was offered the finance minister’s job last year, by the Gupta family.
We recall that few days back, corruption Watch was part of the organizations that called for an immediate investigation into the Zuma- Gupta allegations.
David Lewis at that time said the allegations had contravened anti-corruption legislation and therefore, should be investigated.
Corruption Watch even at that time, went further to call for the Gupta family to be jailed for decades.
“State capture is not tenderpreneurship. We are far beyond that. A tenderpreneur bribes a party or government official to land a state contract. But this is an order of magnitude different [from that].” it said.
Meanwhile, former Cosatu leader Zwelinzima Vavi said he believes President Jacob Zuma started roping in the Gupta family into what would later become state matters even before he became president of the country.
Speaking further on the relationship between the two, Vavi recounted a meeting which took place behind closed doors in Equatorial Guinea eight years ago which according to him could be the beginning of of the state capture by the Guptas.
Vavi further opined that the only measure to be taken in order to put to an end the era of the alleged state capture was to force Zuma to resign.
However, Secretary General to the ruling African National Congress (ANC) Gwede Mantashe had said the party’s investigation into the Guptas which they are yet to embark on, will establish whether Zuma’s relationship with the family has started a process of ‘capture of the state’.
Though the president is yet to publicly speak on the issues surrounding him and the Guptas, a UK correspondent for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) tweeted that president Zuma, in an interview with their reporter said he doesn’t see a problem with the friendship and remarked that there are other people who are closer to the family.