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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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Zondo findings worthless without prosecutions

Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo

Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo

Published Mar 5, 2022

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The question is simple: why would a company pay for work done at not just one, but two properties belonging to Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe?

At the time, Mantashe was not a minister, but he was secretary-general of the ANC, arguably a far more influential position in this country’s political dynamics.

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Predictably, Mantashe says he will challenge Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s findings, released this week in the third instalment of the Zondo commission report into state capture.

The report says of the gratification received by Mantashe: “… the provision of free security installations was manifestly part of the corrupt modus operandi of Bosasa and its directors”.

In a similar ‒ and unfortunately all too familiar in the ANC ‒ incident, we are still waiting for former health minister Zweli Mkhize and his wife May to explain why Digital Vibes, which received R150 million in contracts from his department, made two payments for maintenance at one of their properties, deposited R300 000 to a company owned by their son, paid for a bakkie for his farm, and fittings at a salon owned by the son and his wife.

Mkhize, however, had the moral fibre to resign. Mantashe? Not so much.

Also implicated by Justice Zondo in “industrial-scale corruption” by Bosasa is Dudu Myeni, chairperson of the Jacob Zuma Foundation and disgraced former chairperson of SAA.

Continuing the pattern, Bosasa paid for security upgrades to the Richards Bay home of Myeni, who, as Jacob Zuma’s ally and confidante, possibly wielded even more influence than Mantashe.

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With so many cadres implicated in corruption, the ANC is a morally and ethically compromised organisation with little hope of the much-touted self-correction ever materialising, not with all those accused doing their utmost to stall the processes of justice.

Perhaps it is time for a special state capture court to be set up to expedite related matters.

Or for the tax man, instead of harassing ordinary taxpayers, to ask the likes of Mantashe, Mkhize and Myeni to explain the sources of their wealth.

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Justice Zondo deserves praise for fearlessly documenting his commission’s findings, but these will be for naught unless those implicated are swiftly prosecuted and the stolen monies recovered.

The Independent on Saturday

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