News / South Africa

Yadhana Jadoo
2 minute read
17 Jan 2018
6:15 am

Ramaphosa ‘on the warpath’ against state capture

Yadhana Jadoo

Outa says it ‘signals a new centre of power that is more powerful than Zuma’.

ANC presidential candidate Cyril Ramaphosa sits during nominations at the ANC's 54th National Elective Conference at Nasrec, Johannesburg, on 17 December 2017. The ANC gathers to elect new leadership, including a new party president for which Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma are the candidates. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

The Asset Forfeiture Unit’s (AFU) move to seize about R50 billion in just 17 cases related to state capture is a clear signal of the dawn of a new era under ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa, commentators say.

The AFU, under the auspices of the National Prosecuting Authority, yesterday moved to clarify it intends recovering this amount by the next financial year. It forged ahead to regain R1.6 billion from Trillian and McKinsey & Co, two companies linked to the notorious Gupta family.

“It’s less than a coincidence that the apparent investigation with real summons, forfeiture and even possible criminal charges has all occurred now that Ramaphosa has taken power,” said political analyst Daniel Silke. “

This is going to be spun by prosecuting authorities as something that has been in the works and that was taking time because of the complexity of the investigation.

“But the fact that Ramaphosa has taken over creates more fluidity within the leadership of the ANC. It diminishes the power of the Jacob Zuma faction, which has always been seen to be closely aligned to the Guptas. That fluidity in the leadership of the ANC makes it substantially easier now to embark on some comprehensive state capture inquiry and a series of prosecutions.

“The Ramaphosa era changes the way state capture has been handled. It’s no longer a laughing matter under Jacob Zuma.” Tackling corruption has become a priority issue for Ramaphosa, as he outlined in recent speeches.

“He has made it clear that this is an issue that is a priority. On that basis, this is a very different approach to Zuma and it has the potential to shake up internal ANC politics, as it can flush out the corrupt,” said Silke.

“Those who may be flushed out may be senior office bearers within the ANC. It can actually change the composition of leadership within the ANC as well.”

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) said this “certainly signals a new centre of power that is more powerful than Zuma”.

“You have the head of the ANC who is very keen on tackling corruption and state capture and has made that very clear,” said Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage.

“These are people to whom Jacob Zuma is linked – the Guptas, his son Duduzane and Salim Essa. This is linked to a new leadership and this is good stuff. These are exciting times and there is good energy in getting the ball rolling.”

Duvenage said the substantive evidence Outa provided made those cases stronger for the AFU to have enough compelling evidence to convince a court to give those orders.

– yadhanaj@citizen.co.za

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