Zuma is 'sponsor-in-chief of corruption' - Pityana

2016-10-05 18:31
AngloGold Ashanti chairperson Sipho Pityana. (News24)

AngloGold Ashanti chairperson Sipho Pityana. (News24)

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Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma is South Africa’s "sponsor-in-chief of corruption", AngloGold Ashanti chairperson Sipho Pityana said on Wednesday.

The country was facing a crisis fuelled by patronage, corruption, mismanagement, unchecked power and widespread apathy, Pityana said at the Mining Indaba in Johannesburg.

He called on citizens and businesses to help "save South Africa".

Zuma was, at best, missing in action, at worst, at the root of this crisis. He had abrogated his constitutional duties and was facing hundreds of corruption charges. Those closest to him appeared to be beneficiaries of the disaster in governance, Pityana said.

He said corruption was spreading. National Treasury had identified almost R26bn in irregular expenditure across all government departments, and there were no consequences. 

Leaders found guilty of corruption or misrepresentation no longer fell on their swords.

"These days they remain in office, inured to the shame of public opprobrium and cheered on by their superiors. And why not, when we have a president who literally laughs off any suggestion that government be held to a higher standard and is, in fact, the sponsor-in-chief of corruption."

Pityana has been calling for Zuma to step down. He says he has support from business, churches and non-governmental organisations.

He said if there had been a case to remove former president Thabo Mbeki in September 2008, it was even more compelling in Zuma’s case.

"If the ANC keeps Zuma, then they endorse what he represents. They will endorse the fact that he lacks integrity."

Last month, former government spokesperson Mzwanele "Jimmy" Manyi laid formal complaints against Pityana with the Hawks.

The Decolonisation Foundation leader accused Pityana of encouraging people to rise up against Zuma, which he claimed amounted to treason. Pityana said Manyi had no case in law to back his allegations.

Pityana said the Constitution allowed citizens the right to recall a president before the end of his term, either through a vote of no confidence in Parliament, by persuading him to resign, or having his party recall him.

"If Manyi had the time, I would give him a free lecture," Pityana said.

He defended Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan as a "rare example of probity and good governance", a distinguished public servant who was leading the effort to avert an investment downgrade.

Read more on:    sipho pityana  |  jacob zuma  |  corruption

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