Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report on #StateCapture reveals deplorable conduct and shocking corruption – but where to from here?
Arguably the most important part of the entire report is found towards the last of the 355 pages under the heading Remedial Action. It reads as follows:
- Within 30 days, a commission of enquiry must be appointed. It will be headed by a Judge appointed by the Chief Justice;
- The National Treasury is to ensure the commission is appropriately funded, and the Judge appointed will have the power to appoint any necessary staff;
- The commission will have wide-ranging investigate powers and authority;
- The commission must wrap up within 180 days;
- The Executive Members’ Ethics Act and whistleblowing process must be reviewed;
- The Public Protector must notify the National Prosecution Authority of all matters identified in the #StateCapture report where it appears crimes have been committed.
It seems only a matter of time before President Zuma resigns or is forced out, although the latter appears more likely. The #StateCaptureReport, together with the outstanding 783 criminal charges, makes his position untenable.
The South African democracy is flawed in many respects, but it deserves better than this. The next six months will certainly be interesting, particularly given the recent decision in the Nkandla saga (Economic Freedom Fighters v Speaker of the National Assembly and Others; Democratic Alliance v Speaker of the National Assembly and Others 2016 (3) SA 580 (CC)) where the Constitutional Court held that the power of the Public Protector to take appropriate remedial action has legal effect and is binding.
The next few months is a tipping point in South African’s fledgling constitutional democracy – one can only hope that together with the remedial steps (and criminal charges) above, the ANC’s integrity commission takes action, something according to secretary general Gwede Mantashe it has failed to do thus far.