DA extracts key commitments from President Ramaphosa in the fight against the business mafia

Issued by Tim Brauteseth MP – National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Spokesperson for Public Works
13 Oct 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Tim Brauteseth MP

During an oral parliamentary session in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) yesterday, the DA managed to extract unequivocal commitments from President Ramaphosa in relation to the ongoing fight against the business mafia.

I challenged Pres Ramaphosa with the fact that the issue of the construction mafia has morphed into a classic mafia practice.

So-called “business forums”, often aided and abetted by taxi association-aligned security companies arrive at businesses, heavily armed with assault rifles, and close the business. They then demand that they be given the rights of the appointment of security and cleaning staff amongst other functions. They also typically demand a Zuma-approved 30% stake in the business.

Shortly after submitting the original questions to the Presidency, there was a flurry of deployments to these units boosting them from one SAPS member per province to functional units. Whether by coincidence or pressure, this development is welcomed.

The fact remains however that many businesses, not only construction firms, remain captured since Ramaphosa made his SONA promise in 2020.

A further grave concern is that the provincial and national steering committees comprising business, SAPS, SSA and NPA repeatedly complain about the lack of SAPS representation in their monthly meetings.

I further challenged the President to:

  • urgently establish a Presidency hotline where such business captures can be reported and receive the required SAPS intervention in order to smash these mafia cartels once and for all;
  • establish a witness protection programme that ensures the physical, mental and financial well-being of those reporting these crimes;
  • establish a specialised prosecution unit dealing with only the crimes pertaining to mafia-style business capture.

President Ramaphosa, in response, thanked the DA for their suggestions and undertook to ensure better participation in the steering committees by the SAPS and in particular to prioritise witness protection and specialised prosecutions with the Ministers of Police and Justice respectively.

These commitments are welcomed, and the DA will closely monitor progress through engagement with key stakeholders in the fight to destroy mafia cartels once and for all.

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