The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture

  (Redirected from Zondo Commission)

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, also known as the Zondo Commission of Inquiry or Zondo Commission, is a public inquiry launched by the government of Jacob Zuma, in January 2018, to "investigate allegations of state capture, corruption, fraud and other allegations in the public sector including organs of state"[1] in South Africa.

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture
Zondo Commission logo.jpg
Date21 August 2018 (2018-08-21) - (in progress)
LocationJohannesburg, South Africa
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo heading the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture on 27 November 2020 streamed live on TV.


In setting up the Zondo commission, the president was implementing the recommendations by the public protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela. In 2016, Madonsela launched an investigation into state capture after receiving a formal complaint from Stanslaus Muyebe, a Catholic priest. In her report, following the investigation, she recommended that the president assemble a commission of inquiry into state capture. The Zondo Commission is headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.[1] Most testimony given to the inquiry has focused on allegations of corruption during the administration of former President Jacob Zuma. Due to the volume of testimonies to be heard as well as restrictions associated with COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa, the Zondo Commission final report deadline was extended to March 2021.[2]

Issues coveredEdit

A range of testimonies were given on a number of corruption and state capture related issues such as:

Notable testimoniesEdit

Many individuals have been summoned to testify before the Commission,[21] including former president Jacob Zuma and other current and former government ministers and officials, as well as various business executives. Those required to testify include Ben Ngubane, Mosebenzi Zwane, Barbara Hogan, Mcebisi Jonas, Des van Rooyen, Nomvula Mokonyane, Vytjie Mentor, Pravin Gordhan, Sibongile Sambo, Job Mokgoro and Angelo Agrizzi, among many others.

Angelo AgrizziEdit

Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi made national headlines when he testified to the commission that the company systematically gave substantial bribes to South African government officials to ensure that the company received government contracts and was not investigated.[22][23][24][25] Agrizzi's testimony implicated then President Zuma,[26] notable government minister Nomvula Mokonyane[27], chairperson of South African Airways Dudu Myeni,[28] and ANC politician Gwede Mantashe.[29]

Jacob ZumaEdit

2019 proceedingsEdit

Former president Jacob Zuma gave testimony at the hearing regarding his role in state capture and corruption activities during his presidency on 16 July 2019.[30] On the first day of his testimony he claimed that there was a foreign-backed conspiracy against him and that some of those testifying against him were apartheid-era spies.[31][32] Zuma accused the Zondo Commission of being a tool to end his political career.[33] Zuma admitted to having a friendly relationship with the Gupta brothers, but denied engaging in any corrupt activities.[33] Following the first day of Zuma's testimony, the Democratic Alliance accused Zuma of trying to play the victim and misleading the commission.[34]

During Zuma's second day of testimony, he claimed that he was the target of a suicide bombing assassination attempt, the South African Police Service later stated that they were unaware of any such event taking place.[35] Zuma controversially accused senior ANC member Ngoako Ramatlhodi of being a spy involved in a conspiracy against him.[36] During the third day of Zuma's testimony he accused the commission of being biased against him and threatened to withdraw his cooperation.[37] On the fourth day, Zuma's legal team announced that it would be withdrawing from the commission,[38][39] but later the same day announced that he had changed his mind and would return to give additional testimony at a later date.[26]

Following Zuma's testimony to the commission, South African media speculated that the chances of Zuma being later charged and convicted for crimes committed during his administration or for giving false testimony to the commission had increased.[40][41]

2020 proceedingsEdit

Zuma's legal team attempted to get Judge Zondo to recuse himself from the commission accusing Zondo of bias and having a supposed prior friendship with Zuma.[42] Judge Zondo rejected the recusal request.[42]

A little over 16 months after Zuma first appeared before the commission criminal charges were laid against him for walking out of the commission without permission and refusing to give testimony.[43][44] This was preceded by a long period in which Zuma tried to avoid appearing before the commission through legal moves and arguments in the alleged hope that the commission would conclude before he would have to appear before it.[45][46] This approach was dubbed as Zuma's Stalingrad defence strategy.[45][47][48][46]

Dudu MyeniEdit

Dudu Myeni, a close associate of president Zuma, was implicated illegal activities when she was chairperson of South African Airways.[49] When Myeni appeared before the commission on 5 November 2020 she repeatedly revealed the identity of a secret state witness, in violation of the terms set by the Commission.[50] The witness had received anonymity as the commission had reason to believe that the witness's life would be at risk if their identity was made public. This resulted in Judge Zondo requesting that criminal charges be placed on Myeni.[51][52]

External linksEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Parliamentary Monitoring Group (22 June 2018). "Judicial Commission of Inquiry Into Allegations of State Capture (Call for evidence/information)". Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  2. ^ Nortier, Christi (2020-06-03). "Zondo Commission 'will meet deadline', Eastern Cape closes isolation centre and research group doubts coronavirus models". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  3. ^ "State capture: Sweet deal enabled ANN7 to get huge discount on SABC archive footage". TimesLIVE. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  4. ^ "Transnet finance boss Anoj Singh 'had no authority' to appoint Gupta-linked firm". TimesLIVE. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  5. ^ a b Smit, Sarah. "Zondo commission: Eskom's Gupta contracts under the spotlight". The M&G Online. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  6. ^ "Zondo commission hears how Indian airline pushed for Mumbai route". 14 November 2018. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  7. ^ Mahlakoana, Theto. "Mkhwebane announces info to share with Zondo inquiry on Guptas". Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  8. ^ Smit, Sarah. "Vrede farmers lost trust in Mkhwebane, Zondo commission hears". The M&G Online. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  9. ^ Davis, Rebecca. "DAYS OF ZONDO: Yunus Carrim claims MultiChoice cost South Africa dearly — at Koos Bekker's behest". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 2020-03-05.
  10. ^ Dlulane, Bonga. "Carrim: Koos Bekker tried to pressure me to drop govt's set-top boxes policy". Retrieved 2020-03-05.
  11. ^ a b Tshwane, Tebogo (2020-11-25). "amaBhungane: Days of Zondo: ANC and Joburg mayor Geoff Makhubo plunged into EOH tender kickback scandal". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  12. ^ "EOH Group CEO reveals how company paid bribes to politicians and officials to secure government contracts". Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  13. ^ "Transnet lost R1.8bn in club loan, Zondo Commission hears". eNCA. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  14. ^ Bateman, Barry. "Zondo commission to probe interference at law enforcement agencies". Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  15. ^ Thamm, Marianne. "DAYS OF ZONDO: Colonel Madhoe was credibly accused of enabling R61m worth of corrupt deals – eight years later, he is still at SAPS". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  16. ^ "Reserve Bank: In 4 years, police made little headway on 64 reported cases". Fin24. 2019-06-10. Retrieved 2019-06-10.
  17. ^ Smit, Sarah. "Zondo commission: Eskom 'fooled the system' to pay the Guptas". The M&G Online. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  18. ^ Manyathela, Clement. "Zondo Commission resumes with more testimony from Eskom officials". Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  19. ^ "SABC sold 100 hours of footage to ANN7 for 'peanuts', Zondo commission hears". News24. 2019-06-04. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  20. ^ "Denel at the Zondo Commission". defenceWeb. 2019-03-18. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  21. ^ Azarrah Karrim (2020-08-15). "Zondo Commission: 5 of the most explosive testimonies we've heard so far". News24. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  22. ^ Kassen, Jarita. "NC Education Dept says its willing to address Bosasa corruption accusations". Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  23. ^ Bezuidenhout, Jessica. "Days of Zondo: The unravelling of Angelo Agrizzi, State Capture's racist whistle-blower". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  24. ^ Dlulane, Bonga. "Angelo Agrizzi: Bosasa a classic example of state capture". Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  25. ^ "Angelo Agrizzi set to give more explosive testimony at Zondo commission". BusinessLIVE. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  26. ^ a b "Jacob Zuma backtracks on decision to withdraw from state capture inquiry". News24. 2019-07-19. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  27. ^ "Mokonyane feels 'betrayed' by Zondo commission for not giving her access to contents of Agrizzi's testimony". News24. 2019-01-21. Retrieved 2019-02-01.
  28. ^ Agency, African News. "Dudu Myeni 'was powerful', State capture inquiry hears". Engineering News. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  29. ^ "Mantashe wants to testify after Bosasa security upgrade claims, offers to take journos to his homes". News24. 2019-02-02. Retrieved 2019-02-03.
  30. ^ Letoaba, Eyaaz Matwadia, Ipeleng. "Key allegations levelled against Zuma at the Zondo commission". The M&G Online. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  31. ^ Chabalala, Jeanette (2019-07-16). "Zuma at state capture inquiry: Will he out more people?". News24. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  32. ^ Bezuidenhout, Jessica. "DAYS OF ZONDO: The Essence of Zuma, Day One: 'State Capture Commission is designed to bury me'". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  33. ^ a b Burke, Jason (2019-07-15). "Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  34. ^ "Jacob Zuma attempted to play the victim at Zondo commission - DA's Mazzone | IOL News". Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  35. ^ Haffajee, Ferial. "DAYS OF ZONDO: NEWSFLASH: Zuma hasn't laid a case related to suicide bomber plot – and reveals new assassination threat". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  36. ^ "Zuma at Zondo - a blow by blow account of Day Two". 2019-07-16. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  37. ^ Ntsabo, Mihlali. "Zuma accuses Zondo of being unfair as testimony halted on day 3". Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  38. ^ "Jacob Zuma retracts his withdrawal from state capture probe". TimesLIVE. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  39. ^ "Zuma will no longer participate in #StateCaptureInquiry - lawyer". 19 July 2019. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  40. ^ Hogg, Alec (2019-07-15). "Zuma at Zondo: Odds shorten on another BRICs president behind bars". Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  41. ^ Mabena, Sipho. "Zuma's allegations could see him facing jail time – analysts". The Citizen. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  42. ^ a b Powell, Cathleen. "South African judge has refused to step down from corruption probe: this was the right call". The Conversation. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  43. ^ "Zondo to lay criminal charges against Zuma for walking out". SowetanLIVE. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  44. ^ "Zondo commission to lay criminal charges against Jacob Zuma for walking out of inquiry". Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  45. ^ a b Naidoo, Lawson (2020-11-15). "OP-ED: Zuma vs Zondo: The former president's Stalingrad strategy in the arms deal saga is being replayed". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  46. ^ a b Ntshidi, Edwin. "Zondo commission must take action against Jacob Zuma for contempt - Outa". Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  47. ^ "Yet another Stalingrad? Zuma unveils his latest weapon in his war with Zondo". TimesLIVE. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  48. ^ "NATASHA MARRIAN: Zuma's desperation in stalingrad". BusinessLIVE. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  49. ^ "Former SAA exec says Dudu Myeni asked staff to 'do illegal things'". Fin24. 2019-06-19. Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  50. ^ "Myeni identifies Mr X despite Zondo anonymity ruling, claims she did not mean to breach rules". Fin24. 2020-11-06. Retrieved 2020-11-06.
  51. ^ "Raymond Zondo asks commission to lay criminal complaint against Dudu Myeni". BusinessLIVE. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  52. ^ "Zondo commission to lay criminal charge against Dudu Myeni". News24. Retrieved 2020-11-27.