South African Communist Party
1 October 2020
The South African Communist Party (SACP) welcomes the arrest of several alleged suspects of corruption by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, also known as the Hawks, on Wednesday, 30 September 2020. The arrests are in connection with the Free State Provincial R225 million asbestos audit tender. The SACP also welcomes the fact that, in a separate case, one alleged suspect of corruption handed himself over to the Police in Alberton, Ekurhuleni, on Thursday, 1 October 2020.
These arrests should be seen as a key indicator that we have now entered the dawn of the era of accountability. The alleged suspects are from the public and private sectors. This shows the point the SACP has made a long time ago; corruption in the public sector is destined for the benefit of personal or wealth accumulation interests located in the private sector.
However, South Africa needs to meet at least five key performance indicators that must be met with distinction before the nation can finally say that we are making progress in clamping down on corruption. First, more arrests must follow. Second, there must be successful prosecution. Third, those found guilty must be sentenced to severe prison sentences. Fourth, the assets acquired from corrupt conduct, fraud and other forms of wrongdoing must be seized through asset forfeiture processes. All avenues, national and international, must be exhausted to recover the public resources lost because of state capture and other forms of corrupt conduct.
The whole corruption-prone tender state model must be rolled back. That is, the state must be de-tenderised. At the moment, there are too many outsourced state functions than should be the case across the board, and in all spheres of the government. The state in South Africa has been reduced to a frontier of private capital accumulation through tenders, which are also used to mediate state-society relations. On the contrary, South Africa needs a capable democratic developmental state with its own internal capacity to serve the people wholeheartedly. If truth be told, many of the few individuals awarded tenders via their privately-owned companies do not have more capacity than the state and the workers exploited in those tenders. In many cases, those individuals do not have any capacity. As the corruption in the coronavirus personal protective equipment indicates, some of the private companies have never done any work before and were just registered as companies just before they were awarded the corrupt tenders.