Ramaphosa saddened by state capture claims in SACC report

The SACC said last week that the country is just a few inches away from becoming a mafia state, from which there will be no return.

FILE: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says he is saddened by state capture allegations contained in a report by the South African Council of Churches (SACC).

He’s urged the ANC to act swiftly to ensure the country doesn’t become a mafia state.

Ramaphosa addressed African National Congress (ANC) and the South African Communist Party (SACP) supporters at the Moses Kotane memorial lecture in Rustenburg in the North West on Sunday.

Last Thursday, the SACC released a report containing allegations from current and former government employees on how certain individuals close to the president have gained control of some state-owned entities.

The SACC said last week that the country is just a few inches away from becoming a mafia state, from which there will be no return.

Ramaphosa says this is worrying.

“It is absolutely imperative that we act with urgency and purpose and make sure that we never become a mafia state because once you become a mafia state, all the wheels have come off.”

That report has led the deputy president to repeat his call for a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture.

“We need to go the bottom of it through an independent judicial commission that must be established so that we go to the bottom of this.”

He says the inquiry needs to be soon so that allegations of state capture are left behind when the party campaigns for elections in 2019.

ANC MUST ACT URGENTLY

Ramaphosa said the ANC must act with urgency.

“Yes they’ve released that report. They’ve raised their concerns and if we as the ANC are to counter this grave threat… if the ANC is to recover its leadership role in society then it’s absolutely imperative that we act with urgency and purpose and make sure that we never become a mafia state.

“Because once we become a mafia state all the wheels have come off,” said Ramaphosa, whose delivery was at times passionate, a marked contrast to his normally reserved manner.

The SACP setting was a pointed one, as the party is a key political ally of the ANC and has called for Zuma to resign.

Relations between Zuma and Ramaphosa, 64, a former trade union organiser who led negotiations to end white rule in 1994, have become increasingly strained, according to local media reports.

Zuma has consistently denied allegations of corruption levelled against him, his government and some associates, and branded protesters calling for his resignation “racist”.

Ramaphosa also said that he had met with ratings agency Moody’s on Friday and their view was that the ANC was on the verge of a split. He said he assured them that would not happen.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)