‘That whole thing has become political, even the term has become politicised’: Dali Mpofu on state capture inquiry

02 March 2021 - 13:16
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Advocate Dali Mpofu, former national chair of the EFF, says the state capture inquiry has 'become a political and factional tool'.
Image: File photo Advocate Dali Mpofu, former national chair of the EFF, says the state capture inquiry has 'become a political and factional tool'.

The state capture inquiry has turned into something completely different to what it was intended for, according to former EFF national chairperson advocate Dali Mpofu, who was speaking on The Insight Factor.

Mpofu said the inquiry had become a political and factional tool and even the term “state capture” had been politicised.

“The state capture inquiry is something that fascinates me,” he said.

“I think that whole thing has become political and even the term 'state capture' has become politicised. State capture is something the [Jacob] Zuma faction did, but if it’s done by the [Cyril] Ramaphosa faction it’s not state capture,” he said.

The inquiry chaired by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo was launched in 2018 to investigate allegations of state capture, corruption, fraud and other allegations in the public sector.

According to Mpofu, many people have forgotten the EFF fought for the inquiry to be established.

“The EFF was the only organisation that took up the cudgels and fought at a point when the state capture report could have been buried forever. As a result of that, the commission was established.

“The EFF had to fight again to ensure the mechanisms for appointing the state capture inquiry are not tainted by conflicts of interest. Now the inquiry is here and everyone has suddenly forgotten how it got here,” Mpofu said.

Mpofu’s comments come after EFF MP Shivambu lambasted the inquiry, accusing it of only inviting “factional puppets” as it embarked on hearing evidence related to parliamentary oversight.

In his attack, Shivambu tweeted: “This factional nonsense of a commission only chooses members and ex-members of parliament who will justify and validate their pre-conclusions. The EFF fought for the commission to be established and yet they will never speak to us because we are not factional puppets. Sies!

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte also slammed the inquiry, saying it “gives democratic centralism a bad name”.

In her opinion piece in the Daily Maverick, Duarte said the democratic centralism was the subject of a commission led by Zondo, who practices his craft “based on the narrow parameters of existing laws”. 

She called the testimonies provided at the inquiry against the ANC an “onslaught against the people”, saying they display “a serious lack of appreciation of the role party caucuses play within a democracy such as ours”.

However, after a public backlash, Duarte “humbly apologised” for her comments.

“I wish to assure the honourable deputy chief Justice of my deep respect for you and the work you are doing to bring to the fore the depth of malfeasance in the state and in the private sector,” she said.