Era of state capture is far from over - Pieter Groenewald

FF Plus leader says these practices are still flourishing at local govt level

Era of state capture is far from over

23 June 2022

According to President Cyril Ramaphosa, the final report by the Zondo Commission clearly marks the end of the "era of state capture". The FF Plus does not agree with the President, though.

State capture is flourishing on the third level of government, or local government. So, if it took four years to investigate only certain aspects of state capture on national and provincial level, then it is clear that only the tip of the iceberg has been uncovered.

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo himself admitted that it would take "ten years" to investigate everything in the Commission's mandate. This points to the vast extent of state capture and the fact that many offenders go unpunished.

Moreover, the Commission's final report is just the first step in the probe into state capture and corruption. The question is what consequences and actions will follow the report's findings?

Prosecution, stemming from instances where individuals are named in the report, must not start on the lowest official level. The high-profile names must be brought before the court first to send a loud and clear message that no-one is above the law.

The unfortunate reality is that the lack of thorough investigation into corruption in third-level government means that the corruption can continue unchecked. This is evident in the constant process of cadre deployment.

President Ramaphosa is known for his lip service about taking action against corruption, which simply never realises on grass-roots level.

Therefore, the FF Plus will continue to expose any and all forms of corruption, and will insist that strong action must be taken against offenders.

It is lamentable that the Chief Justice and President did not play open cards with the people of South Africa concerning the reasons for why the report was issued late.

Judge Zondo did say that there were numerous challenges and that he wanted to submit a flawless report, but he should have been honest about that right from the start. Why raise questions and suspicion? It is unnecessary.

President Ramaphosa must realise, first and foremost, that if he wants to act in the best interests of the country and not the ANC – as he likes to pretend – then he must play open cards with the people of South Africa.

But just like before, that did not happen here. The President must realise that this is increasingly eroding all the public's faith in him and the ANC.

Statement issued by Dr. Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus leader, 23 June 2022