“Two weeks ago, I visited Brazil. It has a special prison for all those who are corrupt. We must build one similar prison.”
Makhura was addressing thousands of Cosatu and SACP members who marched on his office on Wednesday against state capture.
But while the address by Makhura, who is also deputy chairperson of the ANC in Gauteng, resonated with the crowd, he omitted to reveal the possible candidates for that prison.
“I am not captured. They tried and I refused to be captured.”
Without mentioning the Gupta family by name, Makhura told the cheering crowd that a failed attempt had been made on him and members of his government.
In an apparent endorsement of the Cosatu and SACP campaign, Makhura said “state capture warranted the attention of us as leadership of government and alliance partners”. He said everyone in government had to deal with corruption and overcome it.
While Makhura was given 14 days to respond to the demands, he assured the marchers that their copy of demands was going to reach the office of President Jacob Zuma before noon on Wednesday.
When protesters marched to the City of Joburg’s headquarters to hand a memorandum to mayor Herman Mashaba, Gauteng Cosatu and Sanco leaders chose to dish out xenophobic comments against the MMC for Safety, Michael Sun.
Sun, who is of Chinese descent, was accused by a Sanco leader of being in the country only to get South African citizenship. Cosatu Gauteng secretary Dumisani Dakile called Sun a “fong kong”, a derogatory phrase.
Unhappy at Sun’s presence, Dakile said: “Mashaba is afraid to come and face the masses and has sent a Karateka to accept our memo.”
No racial undertones were made when Cosatu handed a list of demands to the major banks’ representatives, one of whom was white.
Meanwhile, the thousands of people who joined the march in Joburg wanted union leaders to know about their joblessness and poverty.
While the protests were about state capture and corruption, some members complained about dismissals in municipalities under the DA’s control.
Lucky Nhlapo, chairperson of the SA Municipal Workers Union, said many members were dismissed because they voiced issues of unfair treatment in the workplace. Other employees complained about the termination of [email protected] workers, allegedly by Mashaba. They demanded reinstatement.
Khawulani Khumalo said: “The R2 200 I used to get was better than nothing. Now I am living on zero income. My wife is not working and I can’t even buy a sweet for my child. What life is this? All I want is my job back - all this political corruption and agendas should not involve us as employees. It has nothing to do with us.”