Final Zondo Report is an urgent call to reform

Issued by John Steenhuisen MP – Leader of the Democratic Alliance
22 Jun 2022 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by John Steenhuisen MP.

The delivery of the final Zondo Report to the Presidency this evening is the culmination of a judicial process that has documented the darkest period in contemporary South African history. This report could not have come at a more critical time as South Africa grapples with the reality that the ANC is, without a shadow of a doubt, the single most destabilising and destructive force to the future of our country and its people.

The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture has laid bare the ANC’s transition from liberation movement to champagne socialists, where billionaire cronies and the political elite care less for the plight of the South African people and more for their own, greedy interests. And yet, 9 wasted years later with an estimated loss of R1,5 trillion to corruption, the ANC and its policy of cadre deployment, which facilitated the wholesale capture of the state, remain unchanged and firmly in place.

If the years of work and millions of rands poured into the Zondo Commission are to have any use to our country, the final report, and its recommendations, must become the blueprint for intense legislative reform for South Africa moving forward. As the DA studies and deliberates this final version of a series of Zondo Reports, we can conclude that this long, and painful process will have been in vain if South Africa does not urgently undertake to do the following:

1. The ANC’s policy of cadre deployment must be outlawed. When a governing party brazenly blurs the line between party and state, infiltrates the public service with party loyalists, and diverts the funds and services meant for the people of South Africa into its own pockets and coffers, this cannot be tolerated. Cadre deployment is the vessel through which the ANC captured the South African state. This practice is unconstitutional and must be declared illegal to prevent state capture from ever occurring again.

2. Those implicated in the report must urgently be investigated and prosecuted. The ANC has fostered and entrenched a culture of impunity which must be abolished, and this can only happen by reestablishing law enforcement bodies such as The Scorpions, capacitating the National Prosecuting Authority, and removing ANC cadres from law enforcement bodies and the judiciary who have only served as obstacles to accountability.

3. South Africa’s oversight mechanisms must be restored and strengthened. One of the most worrying, and disturbing revelations in the Zondo Report, and one that the DA has witnessed first-hand, is the hollowing out of oversight institutions such as the National Assembly. When ANC cadres take up positions as presiding officers, and Presidents and Ministers refuse to come to Parliament to answer questions, our legislatures become nothing more than empty houses. Nowhere else is this better represented than the charred, hollow shell that once was the National Assembly Chamber in Cape Town.

4. South Africans must ensure that the ANC faces harsh electoral punishment for state capture in 2024’s General Election. It has always been quite clear that no one individual or personality within the ANC can save it from its own corruption and decay, as the governing party drowns in successive skeletons falling out of each and every closet. South Africa deserves a fresh start, and we need to start preparing now to vote for it.

As we approach 30 years of democracy in South Africa, our once young Republic is now maturing. The Zondo Commission has now signalled a call to urgent reform if we are to recentre ourselves, and retake the path towards democracy, equality, opportunity, and prosperity. South Africans have borne witness to many a Commission under the ANC, but a failure to implement the necessary reforms outlined in the Zondo Commission will swiftly spell our nation’s demise. It is time to stand together for our collective future, free from the ANC, and the DA remains strong and ready to take up our role in the reshaping of a prosperous political future.