Johannesburg - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday said law enforcement agencies, including the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), needed to pursue all allegations made regarding state capture with equal vigour and determination.
Responding to DA leader Mmusi Maimane's question on corruption in state-owned entities (SOEs) during a session in the National Assembly, Ramaphosa said he had stated a number of times that the Hawks, NPA and other state organs should investigate wrongdoing immediately.
“They must proceed with investigations and ensure all those who are guilty of criminal acts are brought to book.
“This is something that not only Parliament, but the public, is waiting for,” he said.
Ramaphosa said there was a perception that there was massive wrongdoing at SOEs.
“It is incumbent on those institutions that have been given the task, constitutionally and by government arrangement, to get on with the task and investigate so that the stolen money is brought back, and those responsible are brought to book.”
He heaped praise on Parliament for the inquiries into state capture by various portfolio committees.
“The National Assembly must be commended for the work it is doing through, for example, the inquiry into Eskom to uncover the abuse of power and the theft of public resources by well-connected individuals."
Maimane scoffed at Ramaphosa’s comments.
“You are right - only Parliament is doing something, and the executive has done nothing to date, including your office,” he said.
Maimane then asked Ramaphosa whether he supported the appointment of a judge by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng to preside over a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture.
Ramaphosa told Maimane that the matter was still being deliberated in court.
“All of us have said almost unanimously that we would like to see the commission of inquiry appointed through the length and breadth of the country.
“We all believe that is best way to unravel what has been happening with state capture.”
Ramaphosa called for patience.
“So let us have patience and wait for the courts The honourable Maimane may not have the necessary talent to be patient, and now I ask him to be patient,” he said.
Maimane retorted that he would not be patient.
“I’m not willing to be patient and complicit with a government that is corrupt. Either you agree with the decision or you are complicit,” he said.
Responding to the National Freedom Party’s Nhlanhla Khubisa on what the nation should do to deal with corruption, Ramaphosa said the state should agitate against it through its institutions.
“We have to demonstrate that the people of South Africa will not tolerate corruption. We must demonstrate that we would like to see corruption-free institutions,” he said.
The deputy president concurred with the EFF's Nazier Paulsen that listing SOEs on the stock exchange could reduce corruption.
Ramaphosa said the matter needed to debated as it was underpinned by improving the balance sheets of the SOEs.
“One of the things the inter-ministerial committee is looking at is the architecture of shareholding. Your suggestion may be one of those that we consider,” he said.