Local activists and business call for swift action

2016-11-03 09:45
The Save South Africa group holds a prayer meeting at St Alban’s cathedral in Pretoria while the state capture case was being heard in the North Gauteng High Court. There were demonstrations around the country on Wednesday in support of democracy.

The Save South Africa group holds a prayer meeting at St Alban’s cathedral in Pretoria while the state capture case was being heard in the North Gauteng High Court. There were demonstrations around the country on Wednesday in support of democracy. (Deaan Vivier/Netwerk24)

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Members of the Active Citizens Movement (ACM) in Pietermaritzburg have called the release of the state capture report a victory for democracy and the Constitution.

The newly formed ACM had been among the interest groups calling for the release of the report.

ACM member and former Msunduzi speaker Babu Baijoo said the release of the report is a step in the right direction.

Baijoo, who was still reading the report when The Witness contacted him, said he had no doubt the recommendations would be implemented.

“What is clear is that our justice system is working and our Chapter Nine institutions are working,” he said.

Baijoo said the movement will continue pickets against state capture.

“We have a fair representative of community leaders. Our small voice here in Pietermaritzburg adds to the bigger voice nationally calling for the end of corruption,” he said.

Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business CEO Melanie Veness called for immediate action to be taken against those implicated.

“The report is alarming in respect of apparent ethics, governance and accountability failures at the highest levels and immediate action must be taken. We support the Public Protector’s call for the appointment of a commission of inquiry (headed by a judge selected by the chief justice) that is independent and properly resourced by National Treasury, and we call for investigation and prosecution of the guilty parties where it is clear that crimes have been committed.

“South Africans deserve to see those responsible brought to book,” she said, adding: “The report also clearly brings home the need for suitable structures of accountability in all spheres of governance in the private and public sectors.”

UKZN political analyst Zakhele Ndlovu said the report will leave the ANC very vulnerable.

“Especially with the 2019 elections around the corner, opposition parties are going to exploit this like they did with the Nkandla issue.

“It is not looking good for the ANC which has been accused of protecting Zuma. At the same time it is a huge victory for the opposition parties,” he said.

Ndlovu said the legal battle that marred the run-up to the release of the report had further tainted the image of Zuma.

“It is worrying that every time Zuma goes to court, except for the rape case, he has never won. I do not know if it is bad legal advice or if he does not listen to his legal advisers,” he said.

Ndlovu said he did not expect Zuma to be recalled by the ANC.

“A lot of people have been asking why was it easy to remove Mbeki and not easy to remove Zuma … The problem is that a lot of people have benefited from what has been happening. So they are not protecting Zuma per se, but they are protecting their own interests,” he said.

Read more on:    parliament  |  pietermaritzburg  |  state capture report

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