Government working to root out corruption and criminality: Gungubele

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele says the sixth administration is continuing to work hard to rebuild a competent South African Revenue Service (SARS) and further capacitate the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to bring perpetrators of State capture and other forms of criminality to book.

The Minister was speaking on Wednesday at a media engagement evening on the eve of the State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“For about nine or ten years, this country was subjected to looting. SARS lost 50 chartered accountants and all of its units that were key were destroyed. SARS was one of the top four best performing State revenue institutions in the world. It was looted… and collapsed. Today SARS is one of the best up and coming institutions in the world because South Africans refused [to allow corruption].

“The National Prosecuting Authority was actually hollowed out, left to nothing. As we speak now, I cannot count the number of top criminal executives who are there, who were arrested and are now confronting prosecution to answer for themselves… whether political or private sector.

“SARS has risen and the NPA has risen again. As we speak now, no less than R12.9 billion has been frozen by the SIU [Special Investigating Unit]… No less than R8.6 billion has been returned to the State from the thieves. We continue to put before court a number of people who were responsible for this,” Gungubele said.

He reflected on the challenging journey that the country has taken from a colonialist and apartheid state to a democratic country.

“This country has gone through many challenges over the years. For more than 300 years, the majority of the people of this country were subjected to racial supremacy and reduced to nothing. But during that period, they were resilient, and they stood in 1994 and found their liberation. That was a major victory after 300 years.

“Nearly 60% to 70% of its people had no electricity. As we speak now, nearly 80% do have. The majority had no access to taps. A we speak now, nearly 90% do have,” the Minister said.

Although South Africa is going through a difficult period following democratisation, South Africans, Gungubele said, must come together and work with government to find and implement solutions to some of the challenges.

“We are going through one of the most difficult patches in our country with the energy crisis [and] challenges of unemployment, especially by young people. But we’ve got an option to cry and feel miserable or we’ve got an option to say, 'this is our country, we will not allow it to go the direction that it may seem to be going'.

“The future of this country lies in the [non-racialism and unity] code… black and white conquering the world together. It’s only this code that can actually triumph and rescue this country.

"It’s only this code that can actually deal with the energy crisis. It’s only this code that can stop crime and ensure safety together. It is only this code that can make sure that our children live in a communally peaceful environment,” he said. –