The Moerane Commission has revealed that fighting for financial resources via tenders was the root cause of political killings in KwaZulu-Natal.
Fighting for financial resources via lucrative state tenders had been established as the root cause of political killings in KwaZulu-Natal.

This is according to the Moerane Commission of Inquiry report which is investigating political violence in KwaZulu Natal.

“There was overwhelming evidence from the majority of witnesses that access to resources through the tender system is the main root cause of the murder of politicians,” the report said.

The 424-page document was presented to the KZN Legislature and journalists were provided with hard copies.

It is unclear when copies will be made available online for the public.

The report stated that there had been “ample evidence” placed before the commission that constitutional provisions for contracts of goods and services to be dispersed in a “fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost effective” manner had been “violated”. That violation was in the form of “manipulation and exploitation by politicians and public officials in collusion with business people”.

The commission was established in October 2016 and was chaired by senior advocate Marumo Moerane, SC, and was mandated to investigate the underlying causes of political violence in KZN. More than 60 witnesses testified before Moerane, Professor Cheryl Potgieter and advocate Vasu Gounden.

The report recommended, among other things, that immediate measures be taken to “depoliticise and professionalise the public service”.

“The state must rebuild a public service that is driven by the politics of delivery and public service and not the politics of patronage of personal accumulation. The state must also take measures to immediately enforce the separation of powers, duties and functions between public representatives and public officials and hold each accountable, professionally and criminally, for their respective conduct,” according to the report.

Government functionaries, without exception, had to have the appropriate qualifications for their posts. It was also recommended that employing political deployees in government who did not have appropriate qualifications “must be discouraged”.

The investigation of corrupt activities and criminal acts by politicians, public officials and business people must be investigated, stated the report. If parties were found to be guilty, they should be appropriately sentenced.

This would rebuild the confidence of the public in the public service and avoid encouraging “a culture of impunity and a culture where perpetrators believe that they are politically protected from prosecution and punishment”, said the report.

It was also recommended that political parties build a strong membership base that was rooted in democratic values, political competition, tolerance, sound moral values and service to the public.