Gordhan: SA has work cut out to get back Gupta money, quash corruption

accreditation

There is still critical work to be done to ensure corrupt elements "who still remain and get paid by the public purse" do not undermine South Africa's recovery from state capture, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has said.

Gordhan was speaking at an event hosted by online publication Daily Maverick on Thursday, themed 'Business Against Corruption'.

"Perhaps one should not talk about the concept of business against corruption. We should look at the often-overlooked concept of business and corruption," he said.

"What we have seen in the various commissions of inquiry is that there was a whole mix of people involved in what we traditionally called corruption."

The search was on for funds illicitly paid to the Guptas and others during state capture, he said, but it would be challenging to find it and ensure the money was paid back. But, he added, initial steps had been taken.

Furthermore, due to globalisation and technology, any monies paid as part of corruption "can disappear with one click of a mouse".

Hidden facilitators

People involved in corruption ranged from politicians and public servants to people in the private sector, he added.

"Sometimes black-owned companies were involved, sometimes white-owned companies, sometimes South African companies and sometimes international companies," said Gordhan.

Corruption is aided by those "hidden" in the process who either mask or facilitate it, he said.

These include lawyers, bankers, auditors and law enforcement officials.

According to Gordhan, this can lead to a toxic relationship between some in political office or representing the state, and those in the private sector seeking profit to serve their shareholders.

These relationships merit scrutiny, he said.

'As old as humanity'

"Corruption is as old as humanity itself. It is the tendency to benefit oneself and rob someone else to advance yourself," Gordhan told delegates.

"We need to debate in the private and public sector about the extent to which boards control managers and whether they have sufficient detail on what is going on - a line of sight."

Choice

We all have a choice whether to listen to an instruction that will enable fraud, or whether to be a whistleblower, he noted.

"Do not detach corruption from human choice."

Gordhan argued the SA economy is not yet inclusive, and monopolies – including the likes of Eskom and Transnet – can make it easier for corruption to occur.

Captured boards

"We must ask some tough questions about the corporate sector and society in general. This goes for accountability and transparency in both the public and private sector or the lack thereof. Is a CEO sufficiently accountable to the board and the board to the shareholders?

"One CEO, for instance, wanted to decide who sits on the board and who not. What kind of mindset is this, to have a say in who manages you?" asked Gordhan.

"We often talk about state capture in SA, but there are also captured boards."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
14.53
+1.2%
Rand - Pound
20.06
+0.7%
Rand - Euro
16.90
+1.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.87
+0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+1.2%
Gold
1,769.80
+0.2%
Silver
23.69
+2.1%
Palladium
2,102.50
+3.9%
Platinum
1,043.68
+0.4%
Brent Crude
84.33
-0.6%
Top 40
60,190
-0.1%
All Share
66,776
-0.0%
Resource 10
63,288
-0.5%
Industrial 25
84,981
+0.6%
Financial 15
14,022
-0.4%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Facebook is facing a fresh crisis after a former employee turned whistle-blower leaked internal company research . Do you still use Facebook?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, the benefits outweigh the risk for me
23% - 144 votes
No, I have deleted it
48% - 301 votes
Yes, but I am considering deleting it
30% - 187 votes
Vote