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South African Opposition Party Wants Commission of Inquiry To Probe Deputy President Zuma - 2002-12-05

In South Africa, an opposition political party wants President Thabo Mbeki to appoint a commission of inquiry to investigate Deputy President Jacob Zuma.

The Democratic Alliance, DA, has sent a letter to the president saying the commission is needed to probe allegations of corruption. Mr. Zuma is reportedly under investigation by the special police union, the Scorpions, for allegedly soliciting a bribe regarding an arms deal.

Reanette Taljaard is a Democratic Alliance spokesperson and Member of Parliament. From Cape Town, she spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the call for a commission of inquiry.

She says, “Clearly the allegations that deputy President Jacob Zuma solicited and/or accepted a five hundred thousand rand bribe per annum from a French arms company is of such a serious nature, and strikes at the heart of government, that we cannot have a cloud of suspicion or any question of corruption hanging over the head of the deputy president.”

She says, “It is clearly both in the interest of the country and in the public interest that there has to be a commission of inquiry that will be in a position to investigate this matter.” So far, there has been no response to the DA’s letter to President Mbeki.