‘SA needs an independent anti-corruption body’

Published Feb 2, 2024


CALLS for the establishment of an anti-corruption commission have intensified in the wake of South Africa’s dismal performance in the 2023 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).

The CPI, released by Transparency International earlier this week, painted a grim picture of how the South African government was struggling with addressing public sector corruption for the fifth year in a row, dropping from 43 in 2022 to 41 in 2023 on the index.

The DA’s advocate Glynnis Breytenbach said the country’s performance emphasised how crucial it was - now more than ever - to establish an independent anti-corruption body to fight corruption and cadre deployment.

Breytenbach said a corruption-fighting body would be a constitutionally protected institution with its own budget and procedures, free from the influence of corrupt officials and ministers.

“This level of increased corruption within South Africa can be attributed directly to the ANC’s systemic infiltration of the public sector and cadre deployment. In fact, it was Cyril Ramaphosa himself who chaired the cadre deployment committee for years in the lead-up to his presidency. It is directly his and the cadre deployment committee’s actions that have allowed corruption and State Capture to flourish.”

Breytenbach added: “Not a single politically connected person has yet been imprisoned as a result of State Capture. It is clear that the ANC, like every other criminal scandal that has hit them, will intentionally sweep it under the rug and continue to allow the pillaging of state resources until South Africa is decimated.”

President of the African Transformation Movement (ATM), Vuyo Zungula, supported the dire need for the government to prioritise the establishment of independent institutions with the power to investigate and prosecute corruption cases without fear or favour.

“As elections loom in a few months, the ATM calls on the people of South Africa to usher in a new government that will prioritise addressing corruption head on.

“We urge voters to choose leaders who will reinforce institutions and allocate sufficient funding to bodies such as the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to ensure their independence and effectiveness in combating corruption,” Zungula said.

With more concerns raised by the CPI on the escalating levels of corruption, all eyes will be on the National Anti-Corruption Advisory Council, which was reported to be working with a range of experts on a recommendations report to the president on the establishment of an anti-state capture and corruption commission.

The recommendations by the council are to be finalised by March 2024.

The process comes as a response to the key recommendations of both the State Capture Commission and the National Anti-Corruption Strategy with regard to the anti-corruption commissions and agencies.

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has also completed its comparative research on the models followed in other countries, and is reported to be preparing a proposal on the recommendations for a model for SA’s anti-corruption architecture, with draft legislation also under consideration.

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