Ramaphosa has Promised to Combat Corruption
There are doubts he can do it
Can the President Revive the Scorpions the Directorate of Special Operations
President Cyril Ramaphosa has been known have promised an end to corruption. Yet he has failed to make any attempt to combat it.1 It would appear that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) today is defined by its internal fight against its promise of ‘renewal’.2 Even the President has said that corruption is fundamentally damaging to our democracy.3 the president is the one invested would the constitutional duty and power to act and yet he seems woefully unprepared to do so.4 Las week, the president while speaking at the National Anti-Corruption Advisory Council’s national dialogue on building a corruption-free South Africa, Ramaphosa made an important comment that reveals how damaging corruption has been to our society.5 “Corruption” Ramaphosa said, “has wounded our democracy and shaken people’s faith in our institutions.6 If corruption is not arrested, the greatest damage will not be in the funds stolen, the jobs lost or the services not delivered.”7 (Daily Maverick)
The president’s major point being that “The greatest damage will be the belief in democracy itself.”8 This statement is quiet right.9 In the ANC-directed language, his refusal to tell the truth extends to the point of ridiculous extreme, where as long as someone has not exhausted the last instance of appeal, that person cannot be seen as a criminal.10 (This extends to obvious criminals who are often freed on technicalities – and even end up serving in parliament.)11 This, coupled with the chaos in our prosecuting authorities and the use of Stalingrad tactics – which are in turn, fuelled and paid for by money from corruption – renders many a powerful person an untouchable person.12 The president can step in here. He can in his view denounce this person as a crook, or someone who cannot be trusted.13 (Daily Maverick)
This is how most of us live; if you see someone on video stealing something, you don’t need a judge to tell you they are a thief, you can decide immediately to have nothing to do with them.13
Ramaphosa is the one invested with the power to oversee both his party and the nation. He is supposed to be this intelligent and pragmatic leader who oversees the various government departments and hold his ministers to account. It is his duty above all state officials to lead by example and have his house in order. The South African state can ill-afford to allow its halls of power to be used for laundering money, by ministers, directors-general and their associates. A culture of impunity and corruption in state institutions leads to transparency and accountability taking a back seat. Ramaphosa in the office of the President is at the helm of the state and government. It is his duty to expose the wrong-doings of officials when they occur. Perhaps the president fears the ministers under his authority? But why?
What power could they have over him? It should be the other way around. Ministers should fear and respect the president and the judiciary whose job it is to hold them to account. The problem may be that some of these minsters supported president Ramaphosa in his rise to power.
President Ramaphosa was quick to point out his belief that corruption was not a phenomenon unique to the ANC’s time as the ruling party but that it also prevailed in decades prior under Apartheid rule, which he called both “materially and morally corrupt”.14 “We must challenge the contention that corruption is a creation of our democracy, because there are people in certain circles who believe that this is a new dimension that came post – 1994,” he wen on to say.15 The president commended the efforts of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector including Organs of State, better known as the Zondo Commission or the State Capture Commission, saying that the State capture enquiry was a water shed moment in the nation’s history.16 (Engineering News)
It is true that corruption would be prevalent in the days of apartheid and racial segregation. However, the truth is that power was heavily centralized in the security forces and the judiciary had very little autonomy in those times. But the ANC on coming to power made a few mistakes after the then president Nelson Mandela passed the baton on to President Thabo Mbeki. Chief of these was the disbandment of the Scorpions the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO) which had been under the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and replacing them with the Hawks under the control of the central government. However, thanks to the findings by the State Capture Commission it has been shown that the government is indeed on the right part to rectify some of the damage.
However, there is still more to be done such as possibly reviving the Scorpions or placing the hawks under the leadership and authority of the NPA. Only time will tell how this plays out for Ramaphosa and if he can deliver. But in the end it is the voters who must determine the faith of the country.