Former President Jacob Zuma continued in true form, his desperate attempts to avoid the Zondo Commission and court proceedings, a matter which reached heights of contempt when he recently resorted to absconding from the Zondo Commission. His conduct was against the law, as no one can excuse themselves from the commission after being summonsed and now Jacob Zuma is running out of runway. His dabbling in the realms of populism and stirring up his supporters is indeed a dangerous and ill-advised game, one that we believe will backfire on him. OUTA has called on Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to take decisive measures against Jacob Zuma and others who believe they are beyond reproach.
In sync with Zuma, marches the ever populist ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule, the political kingmaker in the ruling party, who plays a cunning game as he marshals his supporters and deflects the call to step down, following the warrant of arrest issued for his role in the Free State asbestos saga. These and other cases will be a real test for the South African criminal justice system and we believe the rule of law, and if allowed to take its course unhindered, will see Magashule and a host of the corrupt cabal, behind bars in the months and years to come.
The fact that senior politicians and business people are being summoned to the commission, or arrested by the Hawks, is very encouraging, with some people who once filled prominent positions of power now becoming nervous. As the ruling party leadership disarray unfolds, the cracks start to show and this is heartening for a society that so desperately needs to see the rule of law upheld and corrupt people held to account.
ENGAGEMENTS WITH PARLIAMENT
OUTA’s Parliamentary Engagement team has made two important and incisive submissions to parliament and the State Capture Commission, to highlight the severe shortcomings in parliament’s oversight role during the Zuma era. The reports expose the ample opportunities parliament had to take action against the corruption, looting and maladministration that lost the country well over a trillion rand by many an economist estimate. Take a moment to read the submissions here – as we believe this work adds to the scale and breadth of active citizenry by the OUTA team.
Another report our Supporters will want to read is OUTA’s opposition to the AARTO amendment act, in which we outline why we believe government is making a big mistake in pushing ahead with AARTO in its existing form. [see separate article below]
DAMNED IF HE DOES…
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is asking the right questions and proposing the right approach when it comes to tackling the stuttering economy, rising debt and further downgrades by two ratings agencies, as he insists on cutting in government salaries and spending. However, he is caught between a rock and hard place, with unions and some political groups pushing back against his proposals and, incredulously, suggesting that South Africa spends its way out of the economic hole. Make no mistake, next year’s local elections are going to be interesting.
The past year has seen many citizens and organisations, including OUTA, wondering what on earth happened! The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the rules; the new normal is anything but normal, and South Africans are understandably concerned about what lies ahead.
Amidst the uncertainty, one thing that will remain constant is OUTA’s passion to keep working tirelessly to help create a country that ensures the responsible use of tax revenues by government. We are grateful to our Supporters for sticking with us in this extremely difficult year. Your continued support enables us to keep fighting the good fight. We wish you all a wonderful festive season, safe travels and the chance to catch your breath, before we take on another ‘interesting’ year in 2021.