Civil society organisations to tackle corruption at special conference

Johannesburg – A civil society conference aimed at tackling corruption as well as state capture is due to take place on July 18, Save South Africa (SaveSA) and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation announced on Thursday at Gordon’s Institute of Business (GIBS) in Johannesburg.

The Conference for the Future of South Africa is due to take place on struggle stalwart, Nelson Mandela’s birthday as the organisations feel that they “have a contract with Madiba to safeguard and nourish [the] democracy for present and future generations”.

More than 1 000 people from various sectors of society are expected to be there.

Organisations expected to attend include OUTA, SaveSA, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and Section27.

The conference’s core focus is tackling state capture, using tools such as the Constitution.

According to the two organisations, the South Africa of today is not the one that liberation movements fought for. It highlighted examples such as the plundering of state resources, a lack of respect for the Constitution and democracy as well as those who protect it.

The Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority were referred to as ineffective as they had allegedly been captured.

The attack on journalists by the Black First Land First (BLF) movement also came under the spotlight, with the organisations endorsing the efforts of journalists who they say were championing the rights of civil society, and exposing corruption under President Jacob Zuma’s administration.

National shut down

“We believe journalists have a crucial role to play in exposing state capture and the
many violations of our sovereignty that we are experiencing,” read the statement.

A moment of silence was held for senior SABC radio producer, Suna Venter, who was part of the SABC8 – a group of eight journalists who were fired in 2016 for standing up to former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s policies. Her body was found in her Johannesburg flat last Thursday after she succumbed to a heart condition that is said to be stress-related.

“We offer our condolences for the passing of Suna which was a great shock and loss for the country. We acknowledge and offer our support for the difficulties that journalists face in doing what the country fundamentally needs and spreading the word about what is going on,” said OUTA’s portfolio director, Dominique Msibi.

A national shut down is planned for August 7, the day before a motion of no confidence in Zuma will be debated in parliament. The organisations encouraged MPs to vote according to their conscience for a motion of no-confidence regardless of a secret or open ballot.

“If a vote of no confidence doesn’t end in a positive way for South Africans by way of removing Zuma from power, and stopping the eroding of our sovereignty, we will use a canvas document that will allow us to approach the Constitutional Court for legal recourse,” said Msibi, who said that they were consolidating information and piecing together links from the Gupta emails.

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