Wed, 22 May 2019

Non-profit organisation Corruption Watch says it's closely monitoring President Cyril Ramaphosa's commitment to intensify the fight against corruption after the general elections last week.

The ANC - of which Ramaphosa is president - secured 57.51% of the vote during the May 8 elections. During a rigorous campaign period in the months leading up to elections, Ramaphosa promised to root out corruption within the ANC and the government.

"The era of impunity is over ... we will fight with every means at our disposal to ensure that those who occupy positions of authority serve only the public interest. Over the last year, we have taken decisive steps to fight corruption across society," Ramaphosa said during the ANC's final election rally on May 5.

Now the corruption watchdog says it "eagerly awaits clear evidence" of Ramaphosa's commitment. The organisation has a list of priorities for Ramaphosa to tackle, including providing resources and political support necessary for an effective NPA; ridding his soon-to-be-announced Cabinet of people who are neither fit nor proper to serve in public office; prioritising efforts to tackle corruption in sectors that provide basic goods and services, such as healthcare, transport and education.

What's more, the organisation says Ramaphosa should also review the process for appointments to public office, which include transparency mechanisms for the heads of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), the SA Police Service (SAPS) and Chapter 9 institutions, among others.

To date, Ramaphosa has proclaimed the establishment of the Investigating Directorate in the office of the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions to investigate common law offences, including fraud, forgery, uttering, theft and any offence involving dishonesty.

Ramaphosa has also fired advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi from the NPA following a recommendation by retired Constitutional Court judge Yvonne Mokgoro, who was looking into their fitness to hold office following their suspensions in 2018.

On Tuesday, eThekwini metro mayor Zandile Gumede and Councillor Mondli Mthembu appeared in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court in connection with alleged fraud and corruption. They were granted R50 000 bail.

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