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Ramaphosa: SA must not be mafia state

May 21 2017 18:05
Bloomberg: Amogelang Mbatha

Johannesburg - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said the ANC must keep the nation from becoming a “mafia state” and called for a judicial inquiry into allegations that the government has been unduly influenced by private interests.

“The ANC must ensure that South Africa does not become a mafia state because once you reach that state, all the wheels have come off,” Ramaphosa said Sunday in a speech in the platinum-mining hub of Rustenburg.

A judicial commission, which was recommended last year by the nation’s graft ombudsman, is the only way to put the issue of “state capture” to rest, Ramaphosa said.

In a report, the Public Protector said a probe was needed to determine if President Jacob Zuma allowed members of the Gupta family, who are in business with his son, to influence cabinet appointments and the awarding of state contracts.

Both Zuma and the Guptas deny the allegations.

“It must be investigated and put to bed before 2019, because 2019 is our destination for the ANC to win elections,” Ramaphosa said.

READ: Manuel willing to advise any Ramaphosa-led government

“It is only through this commission that we can ascertain to what extent our state-owned companies have been used improperly to enrich and benefit a few people and their families.”

Ramaphosa (64) is a front-runner to replace Zuma (75) as head of the ANC in December and lead the party into general elections in 2019. Zuma has indicated that he favours Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, his ex-wife and the former head of the African Union commission, to succeed him.

Ramaphosa said he met with officials from Moody’s Investors Service on Friday and assured them that the ANC isn’t threatened by a split and that the government will improve the management of state-owned companies.

Last month Ramaphosa criticized Zuma’s decision to fire Pravin Gordhan as finance minister, a move that prompted S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings to lower the nation’s credit rating to junk.

“I told them that the ANC will not split,” he said. “It will not split because the ANC has a responsibility to unite South Africa.”

Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter:

anc  |  cyril rama­phosa  |  state capture  |  sa economy
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