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Concourt decision on Zuma shows SA is serious about addressing corruption: Economist

Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Armand Hough.

Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Armand Hough.

Published Jun 30, 2021


The decision by the Constitutional Court to find former president Jacob Zuma guilty of contempt of court sends a message that the country is serious about addressing corruption, according to the chief economist at Old Mutual investment group Johann Else.

Else said the decision also shows the independence of the judiciary.

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This comes after the Constitutional Court on Tuesday sentenced Zuma to 15 months for failing to comply with its order forcing him to appear before the commission of inquiry into state capture earlier this year.

Zuma has been given five days to hand himself in at the Nkandla or Central Joburg police stations to start serving his prison sentence.

"The factors that will help lift economic growth post-Covid-19 include global economic support as well as headway in the fight against corruption," Else said.

"Other important factors, however, to facilitate growth will require continued easing of the impact of Covid-19 from 2022 onwards, fiscal consolidation, continued improvement at Eskom, and improvement on several policies.

“We've already seen progress this month with the announcement of private energy generation increasing to 100MW, the partial privatisation of SAA, and the establishment of the Transnet National Ports Authority."

Else said foreign investors wanted to make sure that the rule of law applied in the countries they were investing in.

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"They want to feel safe with the knowledge that they can take out their investment without losing it to corruption or other issues around the judicial system," said Else.

He said business would not invest when confidence was not strong in politicians.

"With politicians who can make the right economic policies, growth was strong. Confidence got eroded significantly during the Zuma era, growth collapsed. We are on the verge of getting growth going again, as we have a better policy environment.

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"This judgment adds to the positives we have seen in this country, it will help the rand, it will help confidence, it will help the growth outlook going forward," Else said.