Zondo commission captures German attention

German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier and South African president Cyril Ramaphosa during a visit to Tuynhuys in Cape Town. Picture: Twitter/@PresidencyZA
German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier and South African president Cyril Ramaphosa during a visit to Tuynhuys in Cape Town. Picture: Twitter/@PresidencyZA

German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier has lauded the Zondo commission which has given reassurance to German investors.

Addressing the media after an official state visit with president Cyril Ramaphosa in Cape Town this morning, Steinmeier said that investors were emboldened by the independence of South Africa’s judiciary. He said that he had been watching the work of the Zondo commission closely, adding that it was clear that the judiciary was not shying away from pursuing even political figures and others of important standing in the country where they have done wrong.

“It is clear that there is a new departure, a new dawn which follows a period of economic uncertainty, decline in growth, credit ratings being downgraded as well as a decline in investor activities. During this meeting and during our meetings in Germany I can see how things are changing. Even those who are not in politics are commenting on the change, there is no sense of resignation. It is not just a new dawn in words but there are concrete policies which we will be seeing being implemented over the next five years,” Steinmeier said.

Specifically on the state capture commission, the German president said that the fight against corruption was a crucial one in restoring investor confidence.

“A prerequisite for German investment is an investment climate and part of that is the fight against corruption. If corruption is widespread, there will be difficulty in attracting foreign investment. German companies will not be willing to invest in a place plagued by corruption. Here there is a visible and successful fight against corruption because perpetrators are being punished.”

Ramaphosa said that he was not surprised that the international community had been captured by the Zondo commission. He said that the commission was an opportunity for investors to gage how serious South Africa was about dealing with corruption.

“The state capture commission is an opportunity for them to see the extent to which we are able to correct our ways, to get rid of tendencies and practices that were completely against the normal type of clean government that they would normally have expected. So this commission is almost a cleansing process. It is a cleansing process of all the bad things that have happened in our country and we wish the commission very well in its work as it cleanses South Africa and brings to the fore the truth of what happened in the past,” Ramaphosa said.

“How is it going? It is going well but as [the] president having appointed this commission I wish them well and as I await that report so that we can act on the recommendations that they come up with.”

S'thembile Cele
City Press
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