Thursday 24 January 2019
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portalangop - 3 month ago

South Africa: Zuma influence-peddling inquiry judge seeks more witnesses

JOHANNESBURG - The judge leading an inquiry into claims of influence-peddling against former South African president Jacob Zuma on Monday urged more witnesses to come forward, as public hearings began in a case that could last two years. , Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo will review allegations that the Gupta brothers - who headed one of the country s largest conglomerates - unduly influenced Zuma over political appointments and winning government contracts. The allegations and other scandals surrounding Zuma s nine-year rule forced him out of office in February. Cyril Ramaphosa, who succeeded him as president, has promised to crack down on graft and revive a stagnating economy that lost momentum and suffered credit downgrades during Zuma s tenure. It was unclear on Monday whether Zuma or the Guptas - who all deny any wrongdoing - will appear at the inquiry, which is empowered to make recommendations for prosecutions. Zondo said at the start of hearings that a call for members of the public to come forward with evidence of influence-peddling had so far borne little fruit. The response has been quite disappointing. I would like to take this opportunity once again to ask the public to come forward with any information. If this commission is to do its job properly we need evidence, he said. A political analyst said people were still afraid to give evidence, partly because they feared for their careers, noting the ruling African National Congress remained faction-riven following Ramaphosa s appointment. Reuters ,

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