Report closes on South African leader's corruption scandal

JOHANNESBURG -- The final chapter of a comprehensive judicial investigation into corruption has been delivered to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Report closes on South African leader's corruption scandal

JOHANNESBURG -- The final chapter of a comprehensive judicial investigation into corruption has been delivered to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The last section of the report, which is reportedly over 1,000 pages, was handed by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to Ramaphosa. The report's earlier sections have exposed the corruption that existed in government and state-owned businesses during the tenure of former President Jacob Zuma, which lasted from 2009 to 2018.

Ramaphosa stressed that he did not know the conclusions of the final chapter when he handed it over. This was despite his testimony to the contrary.

"Not once has the chief justice wanted to even discuss the evidence I have presented to him," said Ramaphosa. Ramaphosa said that the chief justice has indicated that he will be writing a chapter on the evidence I submitted to the commission, but that it is not clear what that chapter would be. Ramaphosa said that he had high regard for him and that he could have a chapter that deals with the evidence I presented at the commission.

Ramaphosa stated, "He could have made negative findings against me, which he will accept."

Four installments of the report have already been sent to Ramaphosa. They contain damning allegations against politicians and businesspeople who are connected with his ruling African National Congress party. Many people should be prosecuted under criminal law, as was the recommendation in the earlier parts.

The report's final segment will likely detail corruption within South Africa's intelligence agency, the State Security Agency. This agency was led by Arthur Fraser, former intelligence chief during Zuma's tenure.

Fraser was appointed later as the head of the country’s prisons. He controversially approved Zuma’s release on medical parole. Zuma was sentenced to prison for refusing testify before Chief Justice Raymond Zondo's judicial commission.

Fraser is at the centre of Ramaphosa's controversy because he filed a criminal complaint alleging the president concealed the theft of $4 million in foreign currencies from his Phala Phala farm in northern Limpopo.

The scandal, dubbed Phala Phalagate in South Africa's vibrant press, has damaged Ramaphosa’s anti-corruption reputation. Opposition parties have called for his resignation.

The release of the last chapter of the report was delayed. It was originally scheduled to be handed to Ramaphosa, and then released to the public last Wednesday. This angered the main opposition party Democratic Alliance.

It is expected that the report will also address allegations of wrongdoing at South Africa's state-owned broadcaster, South African Broadcasting Corporation.

The institution was already implicated in wrongdoing in earlier reports that examined how money was transferred from state-owned companies to the broadcaster to support projects of The New Age newspaper. This report was written by the controversial Gupta family.

Atul Gupta and Rajesh Gupta were both arrested in Dubai on Tuesday in connection to corruption charges in South Africa. South African authorities expect to push for their extradition in order to allow them to stand trial in South Africa where they are currently facing corruption charges.

According to reports, the Guptas used their close connections with Zuma to influence Zuma's cabinet appointments and win lucrative contracts from government departments.

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