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State capture was an assault on democracy, says Ramaphosa as he thanks Thuli Madonsela for her contribution

President Cyril Ramaphosa's thanked former public protector advocate Thuli Madonsela for having started the wheel turning on tackling state capture during her tenure. File image.
President Cyril Ramaphosa's thanked former public protector advocate Thuli Madonsela for having started the wheel turning on tackling state capture during her tenure. File image.
Image: Esa Alexander

President Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed the last parts of the state capture report from chief justice Raymond Zondo 

Commenting on the work done by the commission which was led by Zondo, Ramaphosa said: “State capture was an assault on our democracy and violated the rights of every man, woman and child in this country.

“Through the various reports released by the commission, we have come to understand what happened, who was involved, and what effect state capture has had on our state, our economy and our society.”

Ramaphosa made special mention of former public protector advocate Thuli Madonsela whose release of her own state capture report led to the commission being instituted.

Through the various reports released by the commission, we have come to understand what happened, who was involved, and what effect state capture has had on our state, our economy and our society
President Cyril Ramaphosa

“I wish to acknowledge the critical contribution of advocate Madonsela, whose courageous and unflinching investigation set in motion the process to uncover these misdeeds,” said Ramaphosa, adding that her “State of Capture” report “presented evidence of the abuse of power and of how public institutions were repurposed to enable corrupt activities to take place”.

“Recognising that this evidence required far more extensive investigation, advocate Madonsela included among the remedial action in her report that a judicial commission of inquiry be established to investigate state capture.

“The formal handover today of this final report represents the fulfilment of the remedial action set out in the 'State of Capture' report,” Ramaphosa said. 

He stressed that the work of the commission was a vital part of the government's effort to deal with state capture.

“The report is far more than a record of widespread corruption, fraud and abuse; it is also an instrument through which the country can work to ensure that such events are never allowed to happen again.”

He expressed his gratitude to Zondo and his team, who at times were delayed in receiving their salaries. The country owed “a great debt of gratitude to the chairperson of the commission, chief justice Raymond Zondo, for the monumental task that he and the evidence leaders, the investigators, the lawyers and the researchers have all undertaken over these past four years in the service of their country”.

He thanked commission secretary Prof Itumeleng Mosala and the other commission staff for the “valuable contribution they have made to the national effort to confront state capture”.

Ramaphosa also thanked the hundreds of witnesses who gave evidence before the commission, the whistle-blowers, academics, investigators and journalists who covered the work of the commission.

On what would happen going forward, Ramaphosa said the report provided the government with the opportunity to make a decisive break with the era of state capture.

“I call on you, one and all, to support the measures that all the structures of state will take to return our country to the path of integrity, transformation and progress.

“In line with the directive of the high court, within four months from this date, I will formally present to parliament the full report of the commission together with an indication of my intentions on the implementation of the commission’s recommendations.”

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