Durban - World renowned scientist Professor Salim Abdool Karim has appealed to the NPA and the Hawks to do their jobs as described in the Constitution and enabling legislation to act against corruption.
At the beginning of this month Karim wrote to Shaun Abrahams, the National Director of Public Prosecutions and Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata, the Acting National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation.
In the letter, he bemoaned the fact that despite reports of alleged corruption involving senior executives, and board members of state-owned companies, ministers, the president, the president’s son and the Gupta brothers, there is no clarity on whether there is a real case to answer or not.
Karim wrote that the seriousness of the claims should have warranted timeous investigations and where warranted prosecutions with convictions and jail sentences as determined by the courts.
Karim, speaking to Independent Media on Friday, said his letters were met with silence and he decided that he needed to act.
This action on his part will come in the form of advertisements placed in Independent Media newspapers nationally to implore the Hawks and NPA to act against corruption.
Karim said it will be 356 days on Tuesday since the Public Protector (Thuli Madonsela) handed both these organisations the State of Capture report, “Yet, we have seen little done to bring the culprits to book”.
Both the NPA and the Hawks, when contacted for comment on Friday, said they were aware of the letter dated October 2.
NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku said Karim must ask the police why the investigation is taking so long.
“We must follow due processes and gather reliable, relevant and admissable evidence.
“We have a team that is guiding the police to take these matters to court and we are assisting the Hawks but they (the Hawks) must give a status update.”
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi was contacted for comment on Friday and an e-mail with detailed questions was sent through to him later that day. The Hawks had not responded at the time of going to print.
Karim said corruption was robbing “us of our ability to build a great nation”.
He said he had placed the advertisements at his own cost and he had no political agenda.
“The Hawks must investigate and come to a conclusion and the NPA must look at the evidence and decide if they want to take the matter to court or not.”
Karim said there were new revelations about corruption related activities almost every week, yet the lack of accountability by those meant to uphold the Constitution was of great concern to him.
“I have spoken out about corruption and now I have to act in a very public way.”
Karim said he had watched for too long how the systematic corruption had led to the poor being shortchanged.
Karim said he would never have imagined that South Africa would be besotted by such high levels of graft when the hard fought for democracy had finally been realised.
“I went to medical school after the Biko era and our university was a hotbed of political activity.
“My wife and I cried when Mandela was released - we could not see that the apartheid state would be defeated and when it was we were overwhelmed.”
“Shortly after ‘94 we were asked to go to Pretoria and assist the Mandela government in the country’s response to HIV. Now, it is a case of never in our wildest dreams that we would have imagined that our country would find itself in this state.”
Karim said corruption was affecting all sectors in the country particularly education.