The publication, at last, of the terms of reference for Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s commission of inquiry into state capture is most welcome. And the terms themselves are, at first glance, most reassuring. Though there had been pressure to broaden the commission’s work to look as far back as the apartheid era for instances of corruption and state capture, the terms of reference make it clear that the commission will be guided by former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report, as was intended. Right upfront, the list zeroes in on the most blatant instances of capture cited in the report — the Guptas’ offer of ministerial posts to Mcebisi Jonas and Vytjie Mentor. The commission is directed to probe whether President Jacob Zuma had a role in the alleged offers to Jonas and Mentor and whether the Guptas were privy to any advance information on ministerial or other senior appointments. State-owned enterprise tenders will come under scrutiny too, as will those ...

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