Fighting Corruption is in Government’s Own Interest – FEDUSA

09 December 2020

The Federation of Union of South Africa (FEDUSA) has urged government to translate its anti-corruption rhetoric into prosecution of individuals involved in corruption especially current and former officials and politically connected people that have been implicated by the Zondo Commission into State Capture, as the world marks International Anti-Corruption Day today.

FEDUSA believes that corruption in all shapes and sizes, erodes trust in government and breaks the social contract. Such a situation is dangerous to democracy and is definitely not in government’s own interest, as its continued scrutiny by the global community remains questionable and moves in a dangerous downward spiral year on year.

The unprecedented widespread lack of buy-in into innovative policy reforms such as the National Health Insurance can be traced directly to the public’s lack of trust in government’s ability to handle such a mega project without a whiff of corruption. The invasion of vacant land and erection of shack settlements around urban areas – while pointing to a hunger for land – is a sign of broken law enforcement caused by corruption that could also be the start of the much feared failed state that has ravaged the rest of the continent over past decades.

Past Incidents of corruption that have sullied the image of the state include the Arms Deal Scandal – which saw South Africa acquire R30 billion of military hardware from major Western arms suppliers such as the United Kingdom, Italy, France and German in 1999 in which former President Jacob Zuma is implicated ; the Travelgate scandal of malfeasance by our MPs in the democratic era, the GUPTA Family Scandal which include their interference in Cabinet appointments most notably of Des van Rooyen and Mosebenzi Zwane, and the high profile dismissal of former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his Deputy Mcebisi Jonas and the collapse of the VBS Mutual Bank, and the stealing of PPEs that had been procured to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

FEDUSA would like to see government allocate all the resources that the Special Investigative Unit that it needs to successfully prosecute all individuals implicated in corruption.

As President Ramaphosa declared gender – based violence (GBV) as the second South African pandemic after the COVID 19 outbreak, Corruption should equally receive its acclaimed status of being declared as the third pandemic in South Africa. Governments priority now must be to strengthen the prosecutorial powers of the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) to secure both prosecution and recovery of looted funds without fear or favour. Corruption has not only eroded society of socio – economic benefits and robbed deserving FEDUSA public servants of their livelihoods and increases through looting of funds as well as the widespread COVID TERS Funds scandal, but has been directly responsible for the death of people at the height of the COVID 19 pandemic due to PPE corruption. As supporters and ambassadors of the Orange Friday Campaign through the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation (AKF), FEDUSA will continue to push the boundaries of moral regeneration to ensure that South Africa can reclaim its space as a rainbow nation by re – instilling confidence and investment into the economy. As the country engages in its reconstruction and recovery plan and upscales its work in the Future of Work, Climate Change  and Just Transition processes, the fight to prevent corruption becomes increasingly critical to ensure that dedicated funds earmarked for mitigation are channelled towards food security and job security of FEDUSA members and society at large.

(574 Words)

For interviews please contact:

Ms Riefdah Ajam

FEDUSA General Secretary

079 696 2625

Mr Ashley Benjamin

FEDUSA Deputy General Secretary

083 258 4433

Issued by:

Frank Nxumalo

FEDUSA Media and Research Officer

072 637 8096