Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo has revealed that the response to his call for evidence about state capture has been “disappointing” – and has urged “people who love South Africa” to come forward with such evidence.

Referring to the notice that requested public input on evidence of state capture‚ Zondo asked “people in provincial government‚ national government” and other other state bodies “do they not have any information?”.

“The response (to the call for evidence) has not been what we were expecting. The response has been quite disappointing‚” Zondo said‚ later urging anyone with knowledge of state capture to come forward.

Zondo further confirmed that he had appealed to both President Cyril Ramaphosa and finance minister Nhlanhla Nene for assistance with his inquiry’s major challenges: obtaining security clearance and ensuring that it had the budget it needed to operate.

“The State Security Agency has not been able to meet our expectations and requests. As of Friday‚ there is not much that SSA had done in terms of expediting security clearance processes‚” Zondo said. “I hope that this will be resolved pretty soon‚ because we have already lost a lot of time. The work that the commission needs to do is urgent.”

Zondo’s inquiry budget is R230m for its first six months‚ an amount believed to be the biggest in recent history.

Lawyers for former president Jacob Zuma‚ his son Duduzane and his friends the Gupta family are all attending the first day of the state capture inquiry. It is unclear if they will address the commission this morning.

TimesLIVE has confirmation that the Guptas have been notified that they are “affected parties” in terms of the inquiry’s investigations.

Evidence leader Paul Pretorius told the commission this morning that the question of the Guptas’ alleged involvement in the firing and hiring of certain cabinet ministers – and former president Jacob Zuma’s involvement in this – was a key area of the inquiry’s investigations.

The inquiry would also examine if and how these dismissals and hidings were intended to further the aims of the alleged state capture project.

Pretorius said the inquiry was focused on determining if and how the “democratic project envisaged by our Constitution has been derailed and if so‚ how?”.

Pretorius said the inquiry would focus on several key questions:- Was the alleged state capture project a series of “random and disconnected acts”‚ or a “organised” campaign?- Did it involve a deliberate attempt to weaken democratic processes?- Did what occurred “have at its goal the diversions of state funds into private hands”?

Pretorius said the inquiry had yet to determine how far back its investigation would go.

This is a developing story.