Cape Town - Corrupt politicians should also be “named and shamed”, the DA said on Monday, after Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said this would be done to government officials found guilty of corruption.
“What about the corrupt politicians who simply evade prosecution because they are part of the correct faction of the governing party?” asked Democratic Alliance spokeswoman Debbie Schafer.
“The president (Jacob Zuma) himself springs to mind.”
Radebe said on Sunday that the officials would be named and shamed so society would know who the “rotten apples” were.
Schafer said Radebe had not explained why this would apply only to convicted corrupt officials. Another question was whether this would make any difference?
She said ANC politicians with criminal convictions dating back to the Travelgate saga were still sitting in Parliament.
“Ruth Bhengu pleaded guilty to fraud involving parliamentary travel vouchers in 2005, and was given a fine and suspended sentence. She is the chairperson of the transport portfolio committee,” Schafer said.
“Yolanda Botha was found guilty by the parliamentary ethics committee of wilfully misleading Parliament about alleged kickbacks she received from a company to which she gave tenders worth more than R50 million.”
Botha now faced criminal charges, but was the chairwoman of the social development portfolio committee.
“Admittedly, the criminal case is not yet finalised, but should somebody who wilfully misled Parliament be chairing a committee charged with overseeing the executive and holding them to account?” Schafer asked.
While any move to fight corruption was welcome, Radebe had not said what steps would be taken to ensure corrupt government officials were not “redeployed” to other departments, spheres of government, or Parliament, and what measures would be taken to ensure they did not continue to receive any kind of government work.
The DA supported the prosecution and exposure of all those involved in corruption, in particular politicians, who should be held to the highest standards.
If the government was serious about fighting corruption, Radebe and Zuma should ensure that independent people were appointed to key positions, such as the national director of public prosecutions, so that politicians did not benefit from selective prosecution, Schafer said.
Radebe told reporters on Sunday that, in the next few days, all the names of people who had been convicted in cases of corruption, and all those whose assets had either been frozen or forfeited to the state, would be published.
He said officials were “working out the details” of whether to use electronic media, newspapers, radio or television to publish the information.
“We want to ensure the public is conscious of what has happened, because for some time, when people talk about corruption, it's just a number. We now want to do this in a meaningful way,” he said. - Sapa