State capture is a fact, says Makhura

Gauteng premier David Makhura says people are getting impatient with all talk and no action against corruption. /Mduduzi Ndzingi
Gauteng premier David Makhura says people are getting impatient with all talk and no action against corruption. /Mduduzi Ndzingi

Gauteng premier David Makhura yesterday launched a thinly veiled attack on President Jacob Zuma and his supporters in the ANC, saying those who think talk of corruption was a distraction from the real development and transformation challenges facing the country were profoundly mistaken.

"Corruption is an enemy of socio-economic development and transformation. It is no small matter. There can be no brighter future for ourselves and our children if we allow entrusted public power, public institutions and public resources to be abused for private gain.

"There can be no meaningful democracy if there is no public accountability, probity and transparency," Makhura said during an ethics and anti-corruption indaba in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni.

Makhura said people were increasingly running out of patience with talk but no action because corruption was spiralling out of control at state institutions.

The premier told delegates key private sector corporations were engulfed in scandal after scandal related to what had been referred to in public discourse as "state capture".

Makhura's comments come amid resistance from Zuma and his supporters to the idea of state capture, and after a report that fingers some ANC leaders, including Zuma.

Zuma and his supporters claim that talk of state capture is political propaganda used by "white monopoly capital", which was still in charge of the economy. Zuma has denied the existence of state capture.

Makhura also announced that the provincial government wanted to pass legislation on an open tender system.

The provincial government said it was prepared to go to the Constitutional Court to achieve that goal.

If the court action is successful, Gauteng would become the first province to pass such legislation.

"Public procurement is the area of corruption. We believe so much in the fight against corruption," Makhura said.

He said by going to court the provincial government sought to stop abuse of resources and money for personal gain.

"This can't be a wrong thing."

Makhura used the indaba to announce the establishment of the Gauteng ethics advisory council, which will be led by former auditor-general Terence Nombembe.

Its role includes monitoring trends in integrity and corruption.

Nombembe said the move by the Gauteng government needed to be extended to the South African government.

Makhura said his administration was making these moves in an endeavour to win the trust of the people.

This comes amid growing claims that the ANC risks losing the 2019 general elections because of corruption in government, among other things.

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