We are shocked by the revelations in the Gupta e-mails.
We urge those implicated in the e-mails to do the right thing and consider resigning from their respective public offices if they know the revelations in the e-mails to be true.
The leaked e-mails, if they are authentic, show that the president’s patronage network, as well as its plans to plunder state resources, is more complex and expansive than we thought.
The problem of state capture would not have escalated this far if we had a policy that demands compulsory disclosure of corporate donations to politicians and to political parties.
We therefore ask all the political parties in Parliament to work together to enact such a policy as a matter of urgency.
We also call on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange to require the public companies to disclose their political spending to shareholders. Public companies should not be allowed to spend the money of shareholders – among them the institutional investors – on political parties without informing them.
Given the high levels and the complexity that characterise corruption in the public sector and private sector, we call on the ANC policy conference to consider the establishment of an anti-corruption court with specialised prosecutors and judges. This would provide a stronger adjudication mechanism for the timely, expeditious disposal of corruption and corruption-related cases.
It is true that corruption was a problem before President Jacob Zuma came into office. It has, however, worsened during Mr Zuma’s watch.
The continued allegations of corruption throughout his term of office have weakened the state’s resolve and credibility to fight the cancer which is corruption. As a result, greed and corruption have now become the normal way of organising our social, political and economic relationships in South Africa. The moral fibre of our nation is clearly broken.
Most of the delivery points for public services (Home Affairs, schools, licence renewal points, traffic police, police stations, clinics, hospitals) have now become collection points for bribes.
Both in the public sector and the private sector, one can only get a job by bribing somebody. This sickness is worsening with time because the president and some cabinet ministers have for a significant period of time lacked the levels of leadership integrity and credibility that are necessary to challenge greed and corruption.
The longer we have a president and cabinet ministers who are tainted by serious allegations of corruption, the more the culture of corruption and bribery will entrench itself so deep into our national psyche that it will be almost impossible to eradicate it in the future. We therefore make a plea to the ANC to consider this factor when it chooses its president and new leadership at the end of the year.
The ANC owes it to the country to ensure that the new ANC president, to be elected at the end of the year, has both the political capacity to demand accountability from the current president and the ethical credibility required to lead from the front in the fight against corruption in our country.
Bishop Abel Gabuza
Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference Justice and Peace Commission