South Africa

It is safe to be corrupt in South Africa – Zondo

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said many connected individuals engaged in large-scale corruption during the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, showing they knew nothing would be done.

Speaking to Newzroom Africa, Zondo said he found it strange that while the commission was investigating corruption, people engaged in large-scale corruption involving PPEs during Covid.

He said even though the commission was uncovering extensive corruption involving the state, the connected people did not care.

“One would have thought people who engage in corruption would have been frightened and deterred from these criminal activities,” he said.

“They knew something I did not know at the time – the commission could hear evidence and make recommendations, but nothing will be done.”

He added that there are daily media reports about widescale corruption and theft of state resources, but nothing is done about it.

“People know there would be no consequences for corruption. That is why they take their chances,” Zondo said.

Zondo said despite some activity around the recommendations of the State Capture Commission, it is not enjoying the attention it should.

He highlighted that President Cyril Ramaphosa promised last year that he would initially focus on ministers and deputy ministers implicated in state capture.

He said Ramaphosa has not announced to the country that he has done so in terms of the people serving in his cabinet.

It is telling that numerous top politicians and ministers implicated in the Zondo Commission’s inquiry into state capture remain in powerful positions.

Former Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane was implicated in a number of allegations of corruption during the Commission.

To date, there has been no action against Mokonyane, and she currently serves as the first deputy secretary-general of the ANC.

Former ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe was accused of receiving security installations at his three houses for no charge from Bosasa.

Zondo recommended that Mantashe should be probed for corruption. However, nothing has happened, and he now serves as Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy.

Former Deputy Minister of State Security Zizi Kodwa was accused of benefitting from a corrupt relationship with former EOH executive Jehan Mackay.

Zondo recommended that Ramaphosa reconsider Kodwa’s position in the cabinet. However, he remains a cabinet minister.

The Chief Justice warned that the country’s struggles with malfeasance will worsen unless the current scourge of corruption in South Africa is addressed.


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