Calls mount for the prosecution of those implicated in COVID-19 corruption

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A delegation of organisations calling for societal action against COVID-19 corruption met with the National Officials of the African National Congress (ANC) led by party president, Cyril Ramaphosa.

The delegation, led by the South African Council of Churches (SACC), comprising of five other organisations, namely, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Foundation for Human Rights and the Council for the Advancement of South African Constitution (CASAC).

This after South Africa has seen rampant corruption related to COVID-19. Graft allegations, implicating government officials and those close to them, have been rife amid the pandemic. This includes the President’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko.

Greed and looting started with food meant for the poor. Revelations of councillors stealing food parcels angered South Africans and the President.

The entities jointly issued a ‘moral call’ to all who live in South Africa to become vigilant and active citizens, and support the democratic project by rejecting corruption and unethical behaviour.

This statement prompted the governing party to request a dialogue with the ‘Moral Call’ Collective.  In its message to the ANC leadership the Collective called for three things: transparency, accountability and ethical governance.

The Foundation further called for those implicated in corruption to be prosecuted.

In the video below, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation calls for the prosecution of those implicated in corruption:

Executive Director at Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC), Lawson Naidoo says, “It’s a great indictment on government that there are such levels of suspicions and distrust amongst ordinary South Africans that believe that these additional funds that have been borrowed from the IMF and other international development institutions will go the same way as the taxpayers’ money – that they’ll be looted and stolen through irregular tenders and contracts.  It expresses the levels of frustrations that South Africans have that very little is done to combat corruption despite reassurances from government that there is commitment to fight corruption.”

In the video below, Lawson Naidoo elaborates:

COVID-19 has also exposed chronic failures in the country’s health system. A report released by Corruption Watch shows how corruption is one of the key reasons for the deterioration of the public healthcare system. Researcher at Corruption Watch Melusi Ncala says the report categorises employment corruption, procurement corruption and misappropriation of resources which are 29%, 22% and 16% respectively. This COVID-19 period has highlighted it more.

Accountability is still a problem when it comes to corruption, he adds.

In the video below, Melusi Ncala talks about the report:

Political analyst Levy Ndou says President Cyril Ramaphosa has a number of issues that he needs to prioritise. He needs to ensure that the lives of citizens are saved. He says law enforcement agencies need to come in and sufficient evidence be provided by those involved in the process.

In the video below, Levy Ndou elaborates:

Meanwhile, President Ramaphosa says he’s confident that there will be a successful conviction of those found guilty of COVID-19 related corruption.

-Additional information from Ahmed Kathrada Foundation: