South Africa: President Ramaphosa promises the nation an end to corruption

#Other countries : South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday that he wanted to put an end to the looting of public assets, promising that “the fight against corruption” will gain in intensity” in his annual address on the state of the nation.

The first conclusions of a four-year investigation into corruption during the «nine wasted years» of the presidency of his predecessor Jacob Zuma (2009-2018) were recently communicated to him. Some 1,400 pages and counting, a final volume should be delivered by the end of the month. Ramaphosa will then have to announce possible lawsuits.

But already, the Head of State has sworn before the parliamentarians that «the fight against corruption will gain in intensity». Cyril Ramaphosa has made it his hobbyhorse, particularly within the historic ruling party, the ANC, fueling a war of factions. However, he too was called to testify before Judge Raymond Zondo’s anti-corruption commission of inquiry.

«No later than June 30, I will present an action plan»said the Head of State, adding «we must do everything in our power to make sure this never happens again».

>>> READ ALSO: South Africa: delivery of a long-awaited report on corruption in the Zuma era

Hammering that now is the time «accounts»the Head of State also undertook to strengthen the protection of whistleblowers, «who constitute an essential guarantee in the fight against corruption and take enormous risks by exposing wrongdoings».

In August, Babita Deokaran, 53, a regional health worker and key witness in a case of embezzlement of several million euros in the context of contracts for the purchase of protective equipment against Covid, was shot dead in Johannesburg.


Ramaphosa delivered his solemn address in the evening from Cape Town City Hall, not in Parliament, which was ravaged by arson in January: «this fire is symbolic of the devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, by rising unemployment and deepening poverty»did he declare.

Already in recession, the economy of the continent’s leading industrial power has been severely hit by the Covid. Unemployment reached a new record level at 34.9%, with the rate reaching nearly 65% ​​among young people.

>>> READ ALSO: South Africa: Corruption has weakened intelligence in South Africa, says Ramaphosa

An economic and social climate which in July fueled the most serious violence since the advent of the young democracy, originally triggered by the imprisonment of Jacob Zuma.

At 79, the former president was sentenced to a prison term for having stubbornly refused to testify before Judge Zondo. He has been on parole since September for medical reasons. The violence left more than 350 people dead.

In a report released on Monday, experts commissioned by the government to investigate the riots say the «factional struggles within the ANC have become a serious source of instability».

>>> READ ALSO: South Africa. Corruption: Interpol launches an international wanted notice against the Gupta brothers

The African National Congress is organizing its elections by December, an internal vote that looks like a general election because to stay in power, Ramaphosa will have to ask the party to re-elect him as president.

But if he tackles corruption, many party members will be targeted, political scientist William Gumede told AFP. «For the good of the country, he must prosecute the members of the ANC. But the ANC will oppose any prosecution of its members»he summarizes.

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