The second part of deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo’s report into state capture provides more evidence to fire looting politicians and officials.
The final part of the report is still to come, but what we have seen thus far is compelling evidence for President Cyril Ramaphosa to act against those heavily implicated in state capture.
Much of the wrongdoing 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 under way 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.
Law enforcement authorities should consider seizing the passports of those most heavily implicated. 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 written endlessly about them and civil society has repeatedly called for their removal. Since 2016, Outa has even laid criminal charges against some of them.
State capture commission chairman, deputy chief justice Raymond 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
- Jacob Zuma (again)
There’s no turning back. People have to be held accountable — from the president at the time, Zuma, to his ministers, the boards of the state-owned enterprises, and all those who were complicit. The picture is so clear and yet we wonder why we are taking so long. We have to see accountability.
Removing these people from positions of power, and blocking them from access to state funds to defend themselves against future prosecution, is essential.
We welcome Zondo’s recommendation of criminalising the abuse of state power with sentences of up to 20 years in jail and/or fines of up to R200-million. We regard these crimes as treason. Zondo’s recommendation that a body be created to oversee state-owned enterprise boards and executives is also welcome.
State-owned enterprises must take action against those who looted them. Oversight bodies that have neglected their duties must finally take action – for example, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission should be blocking those implicated from directorships, and the Law Society should have taken action years ago against people like Mantsha, the former chairman of Denel.
The cabinet must demand compensation from international companies like China’s state-owned locomotive manufacturers, who looted and laundered stolen funds.
The NPA must prosecute those responsible. National treasury must ensure that there are ample resources for law enforcement to clear up this mess, and we expect to see this in the 2022 national budget speech.
It is now up to President Ramaphosa and his cabinet to take firm action.
- Wayne Duvenage is CEO of the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse