Tshwarelo Hunter Mogakane
PRETORIA - State Capture Commission chairperson Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has found that former President Jacob Zuma breached the Executive Ethics Code when he involved himself in the formation of Gupta owned TV news channel ANN7.
In the final instalment of the commission’s report, Justice Zondo said there was no way that Zuma did not know that he was breaking the law because he was acting president when the ethics code was published in 1998.
“The Executive Ethics Code was published by the then Acting President J G Zuma... and the members of the Cabinet, Deputy Ministers and Members of Provincial Executive Councils are obliged to comply therewith in performing their official duties… There can be no doubt that in acting as he did, in relation to the TNA (breakfast) and the ANN7 TV station, President Zuma acted in breach of the Executive Code of Ethics. He, as President, abused his office for his own benefit, that of his son and that of his friends, the Guptas. He placed himself in a situation of a conflict of interest and abused his position as President of the country,” reads the report.
He said Zuma’s son, Duduzane Zuma, owned 30% of Gupta company, Infinity Media, and therefore facilitated and extended the business interests of the Guptas “from India to South Africa.”
“The Gupta family and in turn the president’s son, Mr Duduzane Zuma, benefited from the relationship that the Gupta family had with President Zuma,” Zondo said.
He said SABC former acting general chief executive Hlaudi Motsoeneng was equally guilty of enabling the Guptas to siphon taxpayer’s money from the public broadcaster.
“Former Minister Muthambi handed the reign over SABC editorials to Mr Motsoeneng, as it was put, and allowed him to act above the law… It is recommended that the law enforcement agencies conduct further investigations with a view to a possible criminal prosecution of Ms Lulama Makhobo, former Group Chief Executive Officer of SABC and Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng for possible contravention of the Public Finance Management Act,” said Zondo.