Kick out the racketeers and looters now
The final part of the State Capture report is still to come, but what we have seen thus far is compelling evidence for President Ramaphosa to act against those heavily implicated in state capture.
Much of the wrong-doing evident during Jacob Zuma’s rule was conducted with the full knowledge and very often the participation of his ministers, deputies and premiers who served at the pleasure of the President. Their transgressions were also known to MPs, MPLs and councillors who are appointed by the ruling party, and this is where many questions lie, because little has changed today when it comes to corruption still underway at the behest of people who work for President Ramaphosa, who is also president of the ANC, the party most implicated in wrongdoing. Action against them can or should be swift, the question is why it is taking so long.
Implicated state officials should face rapid internal disciplinary procedures with a view to firing as many of these delinquents as possible, and placing their names on a list of those barred from all future government jobs.
We also advocate that law enforcement authorities should consider seizing the passports of the most implicated people. They must not be allowed to escape being held to account, as the Guptas did.
These miscreants are no surprise. We have known about them for years. They are liars and thieves, not fit for public office. The media has endlessly written about them, civil society has repeatedly called for their removal. Since 2016, OUTA has laid criminal charges against some of them (see more here).
Zondo repeats their names and provides overwhelming detail of wrongdoing and their role in the destruction of state-owned enterprises.
Here are some of them:
• Brian Molefe
• Anoj Singh
• Siyabonga Gama
• Malusi Gigaba
• Gwede Mantashe
• Lynne Brown
• Des van Rooyen
• Dan Mantsha
• The Guptas and Jacob Zuma (again)
“There’s no turning back. People have to be held accountable, from the President at the time, the ministers, the boards of the SOEs, all those who were complicit,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA CEO.
“The picture is so clear and yet we wonder why we are taking so long. We have to see accountability.”
Removing them from positions of power, and blocking them from access to state funds to defend themselves against future prosecution, is essential.
We welcome DCJ Zondo’s recommendation for criminalising the abuse of state power with sentences of up to 20 years and/or fines of up to R200 million. We regard these crimes as treason.
We welcome the recommendation for a body to oversee SOE boards and executives.
We want to see SOEs take action against those who looted them. We want to see oversight bodies who have neglected their duties finally taking action – for example, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission should be blocking such people from directorships, and the Law Society should have taken action years ago against people like Dan Mantsha.
We want our Cabinet to be demanding compensation from international companies like China’s state-owned locomotive manufacturers, who looted and laundered stolen funds.
We want the NPA to be loading up prosecutions against these people.
We want National Treasury to ensure that there are ample resources for law enforcement to clear up this mess. We expect to see this in Budget 2022.
It is now up to our President and Cabinet to take action.
A soundclip with comment by OUTA's Wayne Duvenage is here.