The findings and recommendations of the Zondo state capture commission were always going to be controversial. After all, its origins were rooted in controversy. But the latest controversy is self-inflicted, and the blame has to be placed squarely at the door of its chair, chief justice Raymond Zondo, who has, wittingly or unwittingly, dragged President Cyril Ramaphosa headfirst into the quagmire. Sadly for the head of our judiciary, no amount of spinning and clarification will cure the defect at this stage.

To recap, the commission was set up on the recommendation of former public protector Thuli Madonsela on the eve of her departure from office, as part of her report on an investigation into state capture and corruption allegations against Ramaphosa’s predecessor, Jacob Zuma, and his friends, the controversial Gupta family (two of whom are now in police custody in the United Arab Emirates)...

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