Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa File picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS
Rustenburg – It is critical that an independent judicial commission of inquiry be established to thoroughly investigate all allegations of “state capture”, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday.

Delivering the Moses Kotane memorial lecture in Rustenburg, he said it should be acknowledged that in the public mind the African National Congress and its government were increasingly associated – fairly or unfairly – with rampant corruption and narrow personal enrichment.

“This past week, the South African Council of Churches – a moral mainstay throughout the struggle for democracy – warned that we were on the brink of becoming a ‘mafia state’. If we are to counter this grave threat, if the ANC is to recover its leadership role in society, then it is absolutely imperative that we act with urgency and purpose.

“It is critical that an independent judicial commission be established to thoroughly investigate all allegations of ‘state capture’. Only through such a commission will we be able to establish the extent to which the institutions of our state have been used to improperly – and illegally – enrich a few individuals and families,” he said.

“We need to get to the bottom of these rumours, reports, and allegations. And we must act to stop all forms of capture, corruption, and cronyism. As part of these efforts, the Fica Amendment Act must now be actively implemented, in particular as it relates to so-called ‘politically exposed persons’, to ensure that there is no space for illicit financial activity.”

It was also necessary to address weaknesses in governance at state-owned enterprises (SoEs). These had become a target for “rent-seeking activity that misdirects public resources into private pockets and foreign bank accounts”.

“Our formations, especially the ANC, must implement lifestyle audits of all those in leadership structures. We must introduce, as has been proposed by the ANC this week, transparency into party political funding. All of these steps must be implemented without fear or favour. They must not be guided by factional interests,” Ramaphosa said.