ANC presidential hopefuls must push for anti-corruption court – SACBC

Bishops say Spy Tapes matter will probably continue for years, while moral fibre of nation continues to suffer

ANC presidential hopefuls must push for anti-corruption court - SACBC

16 October 2017

Durban - The Southern African Catholics Bishops' Conference has issued a challenge to the African National Congress presidential hopefuls to establish an anti-corruption court if they are elected as ANC president.

In a statement issued on Monday by chairperson Bishop Abel Gabuza on behalf of clergy, the SACBC said Cyril Ramaphosa, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and other hopefuls, should publicly declare that they will push for the establishment of a specialised anti-corruption court.

The SACBC's Justice and Peace Commission were reacting to the recent judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal on the matter involving President Jacob Zuma, the National Prosecutions Authority (NPA) and the Democratic Alliance.

The court dismissed Zuma's and the NPA's appeal against an earlier decision by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that a decision to dismiss 18 charges against Zuma in 2009 was irrational.

"The court battle on the Spygate and corresponding corruption allegations against the president have been going on for more than eight years. If the NPA decides to reinstate corruption charges against the president, the matter will probably continue for another four years.

"When allegations of corruption hang over the head of a sitting president for this long, something gives way," the SACBC said.

"In our case, the moral fibre of our nation has suffered massive damage as a result of people losing confidence in the Office of the President and its ability to fight corruption at all levels of government. For eight years we have not had a president who leads from the front in the fight against corruption."

SACBC said as church leaders they were considering the damage that protracted corruption cases are inflicting on the moral fibre of the country.

"We urge constitutional experts and the Law Reform Commission to guide the nation on the feasibility of establishing an Anti-Corruption Court, with specialised prosecutors, that would ensure speedy and efficient addressing and disposal of corruption cases and financial crimes," the clergy said.