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South African state corruption probe resumes after 3 months

AFP
Johannesburg
A South African judicial commission probing state corruption during former president Jacob Zuma’s nine-year tenure resumed hearings on Monday after a three-month interruption casued by the coronavirus pandemic.
For nearly two years, the commission -- chaired by the deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo -- heard testimony from ministers, ex-ministers, government officials, lawmakers and business executives.
Many gave damning evidence against Zuma, portraying his tenure as a time of mass looting of state assets.
Zuma testified briefly in July and rejected any wrongdoing.
He then withdrew giving testimony complaining that he had been “treated as someone who was accused” but later agreed to testify at a future date.
Zuma was forced to resign in February 2018 over graft scandals centred around an Indian migrant business family, the Guptas, who won lucrative contracts with state companies and were allegedly even able to choose cabinet ministers.
Zuma’s son Duduzane, also appeared before the commission where he denied allegations by a former deputy finance minister of a multi-million-dollar bribe offer by the wealthy business family.
On Monday, the commission resumed hearing testimonies on alleged corruption in the state-owned railway firm Prasa and questioned its former board chairman, Popo Molefe.
Zondo has said that after a “lot of evidence presented here” on how state-owned companies were looted, he will now see if parliament failed in its functions to oversee the executive.
The commission is due to continue sitting until March 2021.
Zuma’s successor President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to tackle corruption in South Africa, which has been led by the ANC party since Nelson Mandela came to power in 1994 after the end of apartheid.

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