Zuma’s ‘hypocrisy on tackling corruption’ irks Zille

2015-01-26 15:03

The “dismantling” of the anticorruption task team is evidence that government is not serious about graft, says Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille.

Writing in her newsletter SA Today, Zille said the task team was launched in 2010 to fast-track high priority corruption investigations.

“But the ease with which he pulled the plug on them in the space of just a few weeks, exposes [President] Jacob Zuma’s hypocrisy when it comes to tackling corruption.”

The team is made up of representatives from the Hawks, the SA Revenue Service (Sars), the Special Investigating Unit, the National Prosecuting Authority, the Asset Forfeiture Unit and the commercial branch of the SA Police Service.

It is headed by Hawks boss Anwa Dramat. His deputy is Sars anticorruption unit head Clifford Collings.

Zille said there was effectively no team left since Dramat and Collings had become “victims of high-level purges”.

Dramat was suspended on December 23, pending a probe into his alleged involvement in the illegal rendition of four Zimbabweans in November 2010.

Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko appointed Major-General Berning Ntlemeza as acting national Hawks head.

The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) approached the High Court in Pretoria, asking it to set aside Nhleko’s decision to suspend Dramat and Ntlemeza’s subsequent appointment.

The HSF maintained the wording of the SA Police Service Act, under which Nhleko purportedly made the decision, had been struck down by the Constitutional Court, making Dramat’s suspension invalid.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled on Friday that Dramat’s suspension was “unlawful and invalid”.

Nhleko filed appeal papers soon after, meaning Dramat could not return to work until the appeal had been heard. His return would also depend on the outcome of the appeal.

Zille said Collings had been “sideways demoted” after being put in charge of the Sars warehouses, and four other Sars officials had been purged.

She believed certain high-level investigations, such as a probe into Zuma’s tax bill, would be put on hold.

However, democracy would prevail as long as principled individuals remained in key positions, including Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, she said.

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