Prosecute state capture perpetrators - Ramaphosa

East London - The ANC wants investigations and the prosecution of those accused of state capture to be made a top priority.

This was one of the tasks highlighted by newly elected party president Cyril Ramaphosa who delivered his maiden January 8 address at the ANC's 106th birthday celebrations in East London on Saturday.

This week his predecessor, who is still head of state, Jacob Zuma announced that he would implement the remedial actions of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report into allegations of looting of resources at state owned entities by Zuma's close associates, the Gupta family.

Ramaphosa said the ANC congratulated the country's president for the development and called for the commission to take place in line with the findings of the public protector's report into state capture. This is in spite of a statement from Madonsela's successor Busiswe Mkhwebane asking for the terms of reference to be expanded and that they not be limited to the issues in the initial report.

Zuma has been criticised for not yet releasing the terms of reference for the commission, which is set to be headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

"We shall confront corruption and state capture in all the forms and manifestations that these scourges assume. This includes the immediate establishment of a commission of inquiry into state capture," said Ramaphosa.

The ANC president linking the state capture project to the current state of SOEs in the country said it was one of the challenges which had exacerbated problems experienced by state institutions.

"Several key SOEs are in financial distress, threatening not only their own operations, but the national fiscus," said Ramaphosa.

Many of these enterprises have experienced serious financial lapses and poor delivery of their mandate, continued the ANC president.

He said through state capture billions of Rands had been illegally diverted to individuals.

Ramaphosa, who is also the deputy president of the country, said there was also a need to strengthen anti-corruption efforts within the state, calling for them to be more coordinated and for all forms of corruption to be exposed and prosecuted.

"Strong and efficient law-enforcement agencies are critical to the fight against corruption and state capture," Ramaphosa told the crowd at the Absa stadium.

He added that the country's intelligent services, police and prosecutorial authorities should be strengthened and fortified to act with professionalism and without fear, favour or prejudice.