UCT slams corruption, state capture under Zuma
University takes the unusual step of issuing strong public statement on perilous state of the nation
The University of Cape Town has publicly joined the chorus criticising President Jacob Zuma’s government.
In a statement on Tuesday‚ Vice Chancellor Max Price said he‚ together with senior leadership of the institution‚ believed that the country’s political system was facing its most serious crisis since 1994.
“A crisis that will eventually result in the most devastating consequences for the poor. We are no longer confident that the State is acting in the best interests of society‚” said Price.
The university’s senior leadership includes Price‚ deputy vice-chancellors‚ deans and executive directors.
UCT council chairman Sipho Pityana has since last year been on the forefront of a group calling for Zuma to stand down‚ using his organisation named Save South Africa.
Price’s letter comes just weeks after Zuma reshuffled his cabinet and fired popular finance minister‚ Pravin Gordhan and his deputy‚ Mcebisi Jonas.
The aftermath of his decision has seen the country’s sovereign credit rating downgraded to junk status and massive protests demanding Zuma to step down as the country’s president.
“The State of Capture Report by the highly respected Office of the Public Protector suggests that some in the State are illegitimately influenced by considerations of personal interest or enrichment of public officials‚ private businesses and foreign governments‚” wrote Max.
He said the capture of state structures will lead to the devastation of South Africa.
Max said corrupt leaders have gone to great lengths to protect their access to state coffers. They have‚ he said‚ gone as far as interfering with agencies such as the South African Revenue Service.
“Corruption within state structures‚ furthermore‚ leads to the perversion of the very processes of democracy – the electoral systems and mechanisms through which government is held accountable‚” he said.
He called on all leaders from different sectors to promote constitutional values and act in the best interest of South Africans.
“We encourage individual staff and students who support this call to become involved in finding solutions to these great challenges facing our country‚ and to exercise their rights and responsibilities as active citizens to bring about positive change‚” he added.
- TMG Digital