Malusi Mpumlwana. Picture: ANTONIO MUCHAVE/SOWETAN
Malusi Mpumlwana. Picture: ANTONIO MUCHAVE/SOWETAN

The South African Council of Churches (SACC) says the government has lost moral legitimacy amid widespread chaos‚ which the council describes as more than "petty corruption".

However‚ the SACC is undecided on whether President Jacob Zuma could be labelled a corrupt leader.

"The matter on whether President Jacob Zuma is corrupt or not … well‚ the jury is out‚" Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana said on Thursday.

He was speaking at the Regina Mundi Catholic Church in Soweto, where the SACC disclosed findings of the "unburdening panel"‚ established in April 2016 to unearth the extent of state capture.

Among those present at the proceedings was former Hawks boss Anwa Dramat and former finance minister Pravin Gordhan‚ who lost his position following a Cabinet reshuffle in March.

Mpumlwana addressed the numerous Cabinet reshuffles that Zuma has conducted over the years‚ as well as board changes at some state-owned companies.

Mpumlwana said it seemed as though it was all part of a systematic design put in place to carry out deals that benefited certain companies and individuals.

He claimed that the only time there was a good change was when the country transitioned power from the National Party to the ANC.

Scores of people had come forward to spill the beans on the shenanigans in government. Some did so with the intention of simply unburdening themselves‚ while others did so with the hope that action would be taken.

Mpumlwana said as numerous people came forward to disclose their involvement or their knowledge of the country’s so-called state capture‚ they found that some names came up over and over again‚ including that of the notorious Gupta family.

"There indeed are serial offenders‚" said Mpumlwana.

The report read: "There were cases of people at municipal and provincial level‚ who were pressurised to divert funds inappropriately to certain activities that had nothing to do with the work and purpose of the budget.

"There were people who were prevailed upon to rig tender process in favour of certain companies and individuals‚ or bend and tailor regulations for a specific desired outcome."

Analysis of the information presented showed trends of "inappropriate control of state systems through a power-elite that is pivoted around the President of the Republic that is systematically siphoning the assets of the state".

The unburdening-panel report was handed to the ANC.

Mpumlwana highlighted that it was all part of a pastoral process and not a formal investigation. The information was for the church to use for advocacy and would not necessarily lead to any prosecutions.

"We are not charging anyone. We are not focused on any specific organisation. This is about the environment we live in. We want to check what is in the environment which allows for corruption [to breed]‚" he said.

TMG Digital

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