Zuma On State Capture: What Does The Term Really Mean?


President Jacob Zuma has once again rubbished claims about South Africa being captured by single individuals who are after their personal interests.

In an exclusive interview with Sifiso Mahlangu on Straight Talk on ANN7 television channel, the President said that he is yet to understand what people understand by the concept of state capture.

He said in his own view that the term state capture is non-existent but just a fake political tool used by self-ambitious individuals.

“They can’t just make it sound so important and big, this state capture.”

“What is a state capture? I am sure very keen to know,” he asked, believing that the term was created just to paint black a particular family and individuals.

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Zuma also slammed the perception that he orchestrated and paved the way for undue influence of state-owned entities by his family friends, the Guptas.

The term state capture is believed to be a type of systemic political corruption in which private interests significantly influence state’s decision-making processes to their own advantage.

But Zuma refutes this claims, saying they are baseless.

Turning to the controversy on whether or not he would establish the Judicial commission of inquiry into the state capture report compiled by the former Public Protector Thuli Mzdionsela, the President reiterated that he would do so but on his own term.

He said to those clamouring that the investigative unit be instituted that they may or would regret it because the members of the commission would not centre on crimes by a set of people but would also scrutinise white-collar crime and big business.

“They might regret, in fact, they will regret. That’s the point I’ve made because it’s not going to be choosy. It’s going to go to those who have done wrong things,” he said.

“It is going to go wherever people can say, ‘there is corruption here’.”

He said one of the challenges the inquiry would face was to define what state capture was.

“I am sure I will be very keen to know.”

“You have [the] kind of stories that at times are repeated and repeated [and] they look like they are true. Why? I am sure one day we will know. I am going to establish a judicial commission of inquiry and it is going to investigate this.”

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Again, President Jacob Zuma vowed to root out all forms of corruption in South Africa. He also promised to deal with the issue of land redistribution in the country as a way of creating a balance in the  nation’s economy

He says he has fought corruption, adding that if he is corrupt, the commission will expose him too.

If the issue of land was not resolved it could be a “time bomb” down the line, Zuma said, adding that the willing-buyer, willing-seller principle had failed to transform land ownership because it was dependent on individuals who wanted to sell their land.

“We are not saying ‘let us take the land from those who possess it’, but we are saying ‘we can’t have people who own all the land,” said Zuma who also stated that the inequality and poverty among black people sprouted from not owning land.

President Jacob Zuma says his Judicial Commission of Inquiry into state capture will help him find answers to what the term means.