President: Action to be taken after State capture inquiry

Friday, January 25, 2019

Commissions established to get to the root of corruption should be given space to play out, after which the necessary action should be taken, says President Cyril Ramaphosa.

In an interview with news channel eNCA on Thursday, the President said while he is aware that the public has grown impatient and wants to see action taken to root out corruption, due processes must be followed.

In October last year, the President announced the suspension with immediate effect of Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions Adv. Nomgcobo Jiba and Special Director of Public Prosecutions Adv. Lawrence Mrwebi.

At the time, the President also informed the advocates of his decision to institute inquiries into their fitness to hold office. On Monday, the Justice Yvonne Mokgoro inquiry into the fitness of both advocates got underway.

The inquiry kicked off against the backdrop of the ongoing Judicial Commission of Inquiry into allegations of State capture, corruption and fraud in the public sector, including organs of State, led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

Describing it as a cathartic and painful process, President Ramaphosa said the commission is still playing itself out.

“Let’s allow all that to happen and at the end of it all, we will have the full picture. Once we have the full picture, we will then be able to say this calls for action [which] will also be based on the recommendations.”

“Let us go through this and accountability in the end is going to be the main issue that we will want to focus on. Let us not deal with the matter on a piecemeal basis, let us get the full picture.

“I know people want action right now. They are impatient [and] they want things to happen [as in] yesterday but I’m saying let’s allow the stories to come out, then we will be able to take action.”

Meeting with the Public Protector

Last week, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu's office dismissed Angelo Agrizzi’s claim that the Minister was among the directors of Dyambu Holdings - the company that gave birth to Bosasa.

In his testimony to the commission, Agrizzi, who is the former Chief Operations Officer (COO) of Bosasa, said Dyambu Holdings - the parent company of Bosasa - issued millions of rands in bribes to get contracts from the State.

Agrizzi continued his testimony to the Commission on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the President, who was in Switzerland attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meetings, is due to meet with Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane over a Parliamentary question on the Bosasa matter.

“Following what happened in Parliament, the Public Protector has decided that she needs to investigate this. I’m going to the Public Protector with a straight face, a clean mind and heart to explain this whole issue.

“I will give a full chronology and the facts… When I answered questions in Parliament, I was not aware of what had ensued and that does not amount to lying,” the President said.

This relates to media reports that Bosasa paid R500 000 toward the President’s campaign for the ANC Presidency.

The ruling party said the President has since paid back the funds and the meeting between the President and Mkhwebane would seek to finalise the matter.

“The Public Protector is an institution to which we should all feel answerable. I go to the Public Protector without fear and I know that the Public Protector acts without fear, favour or prejudice,” he said.

Serving the people of SA 

Answering a question on his demanding schedule since assuming the Presidency in February last year, President Ramaphosa said he derives joy in serving South Africa’s people.

“I did not know that it would get as rigorous as it is because it’s almost like a steamroll, just one thing after another. After Davos, it’s India [State visit], followed by the government Lekgotla. All of this is being done in the service of our people and that’s where the joy comes from for me. 

“I’m not doing this for myself. It’s about serving the people of our country.” -