JOHANNESBURG – The second part of a judicial report on corruption in South Africa has been handed over to President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The commission, chaired by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, has for four years investigated allegations of corruption during former President Jacob Zuma’s tenure from 2009 to 2018.
Evidence and sworn testimony from high-ranking officials, including former Cabinet ministers, has implicated Zuma and his associates in wrongdoing and it is expected the report will lead to criminal charges.
The latest installment of the report details corruption, mismanagement and fraud at two state-owned enterprises, the rail company Transnet and the arms manufacturer Denel.
The companies are at the center of allegations that lucrative state contracts were improperly awarded to businesses controlled by the Gupta family, close allies of Zuma. Among the contracts investigated was the procurement of 1,064 locomotives, where large kickbacks to Gupta-linked companies were allegedly paid.
Announcing the release of the report, Ramaphosa said in a statement the investigation is a step toward dealing with South Africa's scourge of corruption.
“During the course of the past four years the commission has constructed a disturbing picture of the depth and damage of state capture (corruption)," Ramaphosa said.
“We should now apply our energies to the commission’s recommendations and take the necessary steps to make sure we never face this onslaught on public resources and on the fabric of our society,” he said.
The first part of the report, which was handed over to Ramaphosa last month, documented corruption at the state-owned South African Airways, which has amassed large debts and has received substantial bailouts from successive governments.
The third and final portion of the report is expected to be turned over to Ramaphosa soon. The president has vowed to take action on the commission's reports, including pressing criminal charges, by the end of June this year.