21 March 2019
Almost every day there is a corruption headline featuring senior officials of African National Congress ANC) party. A judicial commission has heard testimony about the party’s connection to the Gupta family, former President Jacob Zuma and Bosasa, a company whose chief operating officer appeared before a judicial commission and testified that his company paid bribes to government officials.
VBS Mutual Bank collapsed late last year. It was found to be taking illegal deposits from municipalities.
These are not good tidings for President Cyril Ramaphosa (in the picture) who is facing the election in barely two months. To add to his woes, the country is facing worst-ever scheduled power cuts. Cyril Ramaphosa himself was stuck on a train for four hours, made him a target of social-media memes. These problems are diverting attention from his plans to kick-start a stagnant economy. Bloomberg reported.
Ramaphosa on Wednesday proclaimed a high-level directorate to address allegations emerging from current and recent commissions of inquiry, and corruption-related crimes in general. The media soon dubbed the new directorate as the “new Scorpions”. The new directorate will be under the Office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP). It will investigate common law offences including fraud, forgery, uttering, theft and any offence involving dishonesty, the president said.
The directorate will also attend to statutory offences relating to contraventions of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, the Prevention of Organized Crime Act, the Public Finance Management Act and the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, among others, according to the president.
In addition, the directorate will investigate any unlawful activities relating to serious, high profile or complex corruption, particularly arising from the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, he said. State capture refers to alleged collaboration between the corrupt Indian Gupta family and a number of senior government officials in looting from the state coffers.
Zondo Commission is also probing electricity utility Eskom, blamed for ongoing widespread power blackouts that are crippling the country. Eskom has been implicated in a series of corruption scandals linked with the Gupta family. Corruption and poor management are believed to be the major factors that have led to the worsening power crisis in South Africa. Xionhuanet reported.
In March, a major power broker of the African National Congress (ANC) in Kwazulu-Natal, Mluleki Ndobe, was arrested for the murder of a rival ANC politician and whistle-blower. The deceased, Sindiso Magaqa, had spoken out against public corruption in KwaZulu-Natal. Before he was killed in July 2017, two of those who had supported him speaking out were also murdered. Others who have spoken out are forced into hiding. Ndobe’s indictment came so late because some other power brokers within the ANC protected him.
More than 90 politicians have been murdered in SA since the start of 2016, the New York Times has revealed in an in-depth article. The newspaper said the killings had this in common: “They were members of the ANC who had spoken out against corruption in the party that defined their lives.”
Ramaphosa, is attempting to reform the party and to marginalize those associated with Zuma. He has met with only a limited success because of Zuma’s power base among the poor and the rural areas of South Africa. If the ANC does well in the upcoming elections, Ramaphosa’s hand will be strengthened. But, if ANC’s electoral support declines, the Zuma faction may be resurgent.
Although apartheid ended, social and economic change for most South Africans has been disappointing. The white minority still largely controls the economy, while the black majority remains poor. TimesLive reported.