The judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture should be set up without delay, African National Congress (ANC) Treasurer-General Dr Zweli Mkhize told delegates at the 3rd Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba in Sandton today.
Delivering an Opening Address at the two-day conference, Dr Mkhize said: “There are concerns around issues of clean governance and the fight against corruption. In this case, we must always state our commitment to deal with those issues and accept that, where there is criticism in that front, it is not necessarily misplaced,” Dr Mkhize said.
He said there were various allegations that the government and the ANC were soft on corruption. “Of late, looming large has been the issue of state capture. This terminology came from the ruling party. An attempt initially by the ANC to investigate this quickly proved that this issue is too large for the ANC to investigate. It was quickly abandoned. We agreed that it needed to be taken up by various institutions with the necessary capability and resources,” he said.
Dr Mkhize said, as far as the ANC was concerned, there was a need for a judicial commission of inquiry. He said the commission should be set up expeditiously and acknowledged the delay in the finalisation of the Commission’s terms of reference. He said the commission was an opportunity to deal with all the allegations of state capture, saying such an investigation should be open to public scrutiny. Dr Mkhize said statements and allegations against the Gupta family and the recent emails with alleged details of the family’s improper business dealings needed to be investigated properly “so that we do not have to contend with the speculation about the veracity or lack thereof of such emails.”
In his address, Dr Mkhize also commented on the upcoming ANC national conference in December. He said the ANC acknowledged its weaknesses. These, he said, included divisions within the party, factionalism, and the manipulation of the organisation’s structures. “It is not what happens within the party that becomes a challenge. It is when the issues inside the party spill over into the instruments of governance,” he added.
Meanwhile, in his address at the conference, Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel highlighted the need for a new national deal with four components – a credible growth story that places emphasis on sectors with high growth potential, integrity in governance and decision making, transformation and prudent fiscal management that inspires confidence.
Mr Patel told the conference of the various steps government had taken to support the metals and engineering sector. These included industrial funding, local procurement, beneficiation and actions against cartels, transformation and collusion as well as connecting people with opportunities.
Issued by SEIFSA