Nail them on tax and the rest will follow, says Motlanthe

Former president Kgalema Motlanthe.
Former president Kgalema Motlanthe.

Former president Kgalema Motlanthe says he wishes people are "nailed" through their taxes as it is the quickest method to get them behind bars.

"I wish we were following the Al Capone method. Nail people on tax and the rest will follow," said Motlanthe.

He referred to the method used by US law enforcement to arrest and successfully convict notorious gangster Alphonse Capone, who had evaded the law for numerous other crimes.

"On tax you can nail them tomorrow," Motlanthe added.

He did not single out anyone in this comment. He responded to a question asked in jest about the ANC's political school and whether it would be available to its members behind bars.

While noting that the wheel of justice in the country turned slowly, Motlanthe said he did not agree with the notion that long sentences served as a deterrent.

"A deterrent to crime is the knowledge and understanding that you will not get away with it, you will be caught instantly," he explained.

The former president was speaking to journalists following the political school's first board meeting of the year in Johannesburg on Monday.

'ANC's political school not a bakery'

While he gave these warnings, he also said the political school was not a "bakery".

"It's not going to bake ready-made upright cadres. Remember that even the most advanced conscious members will not be aware when their political consciousness parts with them," he said.

When asked about the current ANC leaders and their political consciousness, Motlanthe said if leaders were guided by their conscience, they wouldn't wait on the law to convict them.

"You will be holding yourself to different standards. You will know you've done wrong and the honourable thing to do is to step down, step aside, otherwise your actions demise the prestige of your organisation," he said, referring to the ANC's 2017 resolution on those accused of corruption.

He did not mention any specific names.

Motlanthe's comments come at a time when numerous ANC leaders have been implicated in corruption at the state capture commission of inquiry.

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