Corruption is at times exaggerated, says Zuma

President Jacob Zuma attends opening session of the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU).
President Jacob Zuma attends opening session of the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU).
Image: GCIS

Speaking to the News24 following a meeting at the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Zuma said they have adopted a resolution that will see African leaders tackle corruption in all forms.

"There is very big noise about corruption in Africa and indeed we have acknowledged that yes there is, although at times it is quite exaggerated. And we couldn't just wait, the fact that we have reached a point where we say it's a problem that we should collectively tackle together, I think it's a step forward that says we are worried that if corruption is not tackled, the very scarce resources that we have are abused in one form or the other," said Zuma.

Zuma has until tomorrow, January 31, to file representations to the National Prosecution Authority on why he should not face corruption, racketeering, money-laundering and fraud charges that were dropped by the then NPA boss Mokotedi Mpshe in 2009.

In explaining the concept of corruption, Zuma said people must be mindful that corruption needs two parties in order to take place.

"What is critical that we should not forget is that corruption cannot happen with one part, there are two parts to it. There is a ‘corruptee’ and a ‘corrupter’.

"I think we are now going to sit down and work out the real plan and methods of how we are going to fight it and in what way."

He also highlighted that the AU were particularly concerned with corruption by people from "outside Africa" who invade the shores of African land, 'take part in corruption' and leave scot-free.

He said they discussed "how are we going to stop people from outside of Africa who come in and participate and go back without any allegations, anything, and we remain with a problem. I think there are a lot of things that we are going to do.”

"It's real, it's there, how do you deal with it with people from Africa, with people from outside. At times from outside they encourage more corruption in many ways."

Zuma said that these people 'from outside' create a conducive platform for corruption to thrive.

"For an example, some people from outside, if there is peace in Africa they are not happy because they can't loot, they can't do whatever. So they start problems in Africa. Now once there are wars, there is looting, there is everything.

"So there are many other things that we need to do. What we will therefore call on our friends and people who are out there, what can they do not to create some conducive situation for corruption to take place but to help us create a situation where corruption will not have a space. Whilst planning, whilst working, we will also talk to our people that we interact with that they must also participate in helping us get rid of corruption."

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