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The ANC and its alliance partners appear not to be singing the same tune about how the findings and recommendations of the state capture inquiry report should be implemented.
ANC national chair Gwede Mantashe said the report should be dealt with internally — to correct mistakes committed and rebuild the party — while the SACP and Cosatu argued there must be prosecutions.
“We will deal with that report. One mistake we usually commit is to pretend as if we have the authority to arrest, prosecute and convict. That’s not our duty. That’s the duty of the institutions. Our responsibility is to deal with the fragmented ANC, rebuild it and reunite it,” said Mantashe.
He made the remarks at the weekend on the sidelines of the party’s 110th birthday celebrations. He cautioned the report should not be used to target individuals and settle political scores.
Asked to provide clarity, he responded: “What I mean is that I must not go to the report and look for the name of Paul Mashatile, then go around and say, let’s deal with him.
“The report will be dealt with institutionally and that’s what we should wait for and not use it to settle scores internally. We must use it to correct weaknesses, to correct the mistakes we have committed and rebuild the ANC, strengthen it,” he said.
Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi said all those implicated should have charges instituted against them and prove their innocence in a court of law.
“We don’t want this report to be like the Seriti report. Almost R1bn has been spent on the inquiry. Just for the Zondo commission to print this batch, it cost taxpayers R1.5m. It cannot be money that must go to the drain because certain individuals must not go to answer for what they are alleged to have done.
“Everyone implicated in the report must answer. If your name is implicated and the National Prosecuting Authority must prosecute, let the person prove that what is in the report does not have a leg to stand on by providing contrary evidence to the court of law and without disrupting the lives of South Africans,” she said.
The SACP’s Alex Mashilo said though they would have preferred that the commission handed over a complete report, its stance had always been clear.
“The commission and its report must serve the purpose for which it was established and the report was written. We need an end to state capture and other forms of corruption. We need those who, when there is evidence of their complicity or involvement in state capture or those forms of corruption, to be held accountable,” he said.
Mashilo could not be drawn into directly commenting on Mantashe’s remarks but warned that “the report cannot be used as political football, it cannot be used as a factional tool”.
“It will be critical to formulate a comprehensive strategy to ensure we dismantle state capture and the basis upon which it took place and ensure state capture never happens again.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa has received part one of the report which focused on SAA and related companies. It also dealt with the Gupta-owned The New Age newspaper, the SA Revenue Service and public procurement.
Several high-profile politicians, businesspeople and individuals are implicated in alleged corruption and looting of taxpayers’ money.
The commission, chaired by acting chief justice Raymond Zondo, is expected to hand over the remaining two batches of the report by the end of February.
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.