The African National Congress (ANC) and its Tripartite Alliance partners have agreed on the need for an urgent Judicial Commission of Inquiry into “state capture”.

The statement issued on Friday by alliance partners ANC, the South African Communist Party (SACP), Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and South African National Civic Organisation said: “The alliance reconfirms its commitment to the establishment of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry. The meeting agreed that this matter must be brought to finality as a matter of urgency”.

The meeting was held at the ANC headquarters, Luthuli House, in Johannesburg on Thursday.

The public protector’s remedial action recommends that President Jacob Zuma establish such an inquiry into allegations that the controversial Gupta family used their proximity to him to exert undue influence on state-owned enterprises such as Eskom and Transnet to secure lucrative contracts.

The alliance partners are at loggerheads over various issues – both the SACP and Cosatu have issues with Zuma. The communists are livid after their leader Blade Nzimande was axed last week by Zuma from his minister of higher education job. As a result the SACP has reiterated calls for Zuma to step down.

Cosatu has thrown its weight behind deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, to take over from Zuma at the elective conference in December. The ANC itself is divided on the matter, with some backing former African Union Commission chair, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as a main contender.

The statement added: “This meeting dealt with current challenges in the movement and broader society. The Alliance Political Council reaffirmed the relevance of the alliance in pursuing the national democratic revolution.

“The alliance partners are in agreement that alliance relations are currently at their lowest levels and committed to a series of measures to address this situation.”

The alliance said the commitment to resolve differences was underpinned by a “fundamental understanding that the alliance remains best placed to unite the broadest cross-section of society behind the objectives of building a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa”. 

All parties agreed to a return to holding regular meetings.

“The meeting also expressed concerns about the ballooning debt levels and agreed to hold in-depth discussions on these economic challenges throughout November,” said the joint statement on the meeting.  

“There was consensus that workers’ assets in the Government Employees Pension Fund and Public Investment Corporation must be treated with meticulous care and that these instruments must be used to further developmental objectives.” 

– African News Agency