THE Minerals Council South Africa said a call by the country’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, to clean up corruption in the ruling ANC was only valuable if perpetrators were jailed.
Ramaphosa said in an open letter to ANC members on Sunday they should desist from corrupt activities or leave the party.
The letter was met with scepticism by opposition parties who said purpose had to be followed by action – a view echoed by Roger Baxter, CEO of the Minerals Council.
“We welcome the president’s initiative in issuing this letter, but caution that its value will have to be measured in the extent to which guilty parties are actually brought to account,” said Baxter in a statement today.
“Thus far we have seen limited real decisive action, let alone the kinds of prosecutions that could reassure the country that the blatant corruption we have witnessed in the last few months, and in the last decade, would lead to satisfactory outcomes,” he said.
The council said “another commission of inquiry” was not the answer, preferring instead formal steps to allow enforcement agencies such as the National Prosecuting Authority to act independently, as well as the Hawks, South African Revenue Service, and the various “intelligence agencies”.
Baxter also said a collective effort was required as corrupt “counter-parties” within the private sector also had to be brought to book.
“This time the pillaging of funds could have cost lives,” said the council of recent suspected corrupt activities in terms of rolling out Covid-19 related support. “In this case, corruption is not just criminal, it is a crime against South Africa’s people. South Africa and her people deserve better. It’s time to make morality matter,” the council said.