With the African National Congress (ANC) at the center of corruption, South Africa’s moral accountability system has broken down.
This is according to Professor William Gumede, who on Friday addressed a Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference webinar to discuss the State capture commission report.
South Africa has been marred by corruption, which led to the convening of the State capture commission, led by Justice Raymond Zondo, which has revealed a report detailing how State institutions such as Eskom and Transnet were looted.
Gumede said because the ANC, as a governing party, was dominant, whatever it did in society was not challenged and was met with silence.
He further explained that because the ANC dominated society, businesses were afraid to speak out against corruption for fear that it would impact their business.
“Even an individual who speaks out, even if they look for employment in the private sector, it will not touch you because they want to have business with the dominant State. That is why it has taken such a long time to deal with corruption because we are at a decline of the dominant movement,” he said, adding that the moral corruption of the party led to the moral corruption of the State and society.
He stated that traditional leaders and religious formations had also been corrupted over the years and he pointed out that former President Jacob Zuma had used traditional customs during his rape trial.
He said it was strange that some members of Parliament claim that “you have to look after your community” when they were caught in acts of criminality.
The professor also raised the issue of misplaced racial solidarity which he said undermined the country’s moral framework.
He said supporting people based on their race, despite constitutional values, was wrong.
He stated that if there was a moral line that holds society together and if there was accountability, there would be development.
“You cannot have development with corrupt people or leaders. It is impossible,” he said.