South Africa’s parliament is today beginning an inquiry into alleged corruption at the highest levels of government.
Whistleblowers and prominent officials are expected to be called to give evidence into what’s become known as “state capture”.
It could be an uncomfortable few days for some powerful people in South Africa.
Ministers, tycoons, the president’s son, and many other witnesses are likely to be summoned and, if they show up, grilled by MPs investigating claims of a giant corruption conspiracy.
It is widely alleged that a powerful business family, the Guptas, have bought influence at the highest levels of government in order to win lucrative state contracts.
The Guptas have denied such claims, as has their friend, President Jacob Zuma.
Some South Africans see a parliamentary inquiry as a poor substitute for police investigations, arrests, and trials.
But at a time of rising political tension over who will succeed President Zuma – this week’s probe is like to produce some fireworks.
Zuma fires critic from cabinet
Meanwhile the embattled Zuma has sacked a vocal critic of his from the government, as he tightens his grip on power.
South African Communist Party leader Blade Nzimande – who has condemned widespread corruption in government and has backed former trade unionist and business tycoon Cyril Ramaphosa’s presidential campaign – was removed as Higher Education Minister.
In another controversial change, Mr Zuma appointed the Minister of State Security, David Mahlobo, as the Minister of Energy.
Move to prosecute Zuma’s son
Also, South African lobby group Afriforum has announced plans to privately prosecute President Jacob Zuma’s son.
The group says it wants to prosecute Duduzane Zuma on manslaughter, or culpable homicide, charges emanating from a car crash in which a 27-year-old woman died in 2014.
The man who intends to spearhead Afriforum’s private prosecution is former state prosecutor General Nel who is most well-known for securing the murder conviction of former Olympic and Paralympian star Oscar Pistorius.
Phumzile Dube died when Duduzane Zuma’s car collided with the taxi in which she was travelling. Her two-year-old daughter survived.
An inquest found that Duduzane Zuma’s negligent conduct led to the crash but the National Prosecuting Authority declined to pursue charges against him, citing insufficient evidence.
Afriforum says it believes the deceased woman’s family deserves justice, no matter who the perpetrator is.
Duduzane Zuma has not yet commented.