Since President Cyril Ramaphosa took up office in February 2018 as South Africa’s interim president, we have seen a change in how government deals with alleged corruption.
The president, heeding the calls of many South Africans to look into the mess that was allegedly left by his predecessor and comrade, Jacob Zuma, has since launched processes whose aim is to weed out the bad apples from the Cabinet.
Cyril Ramaphosa and confrontation with state capture
The Nugent commission, for instance, was launched to realise the full extent of the former South African Revenue Services’ (SARS) commissioner, Tom Moyane, and establish the gravity of the mess the revenue services agency was left in.
The conclusion of that saw Ramaphosa axe Moyane, who’s since been trying to use legal loopholes to undermine the president’s decision.
Then there is Deputy Chief Justice, Raymond Zondo’s commission of inquiry into state capture. This process has, so far, examined the extend of the alleged corruption that has plagued our government.
We still have something over a year to go with regards to unraveling aspects of the truth in the statement “South Africa has been captured” and there already has been shocking testimonies made at the commission.
The most recent, and possibly the most critical for Ramaphosa’s judgment, was that of former chief operations officer (COO) of Bosasa (now called African Global Operations), Angelo Agrizzi.
Agrizzi revealed, in
Some of the high-profile names revealed in his testinomy include Nomvula Mokonyane, Dudu Myeni, and Jacob Zuma.
It is without a doubt that Ramaphosa is under pressure to act swiftly on those implicate in the inquiry, with the general elections looming.
Here is a timeline of quotes the president was recorded speaking on state capture.
“Identify those responsible” – Ramaphosa on participation in state capture
Since the launch of the state capture inquiry, Ramaphosa has been vocal about encouraging participation in the process. Below, he urges government officials to step forward and assist with the process.
“For the country to move forward, we need to establish the full extent of state capture, identify those responsible for facilitating it, and take decisive steps to prevent it happening again.”
“It is incumbent upon any person who may have knowledge of any of the matters within the commission’s mandate to provide that information to the commission, to do so honestly and to do so fully”.
— Ramaphosa after the resignation of Nhlanhla Nene as Minister of Finance
“State capture is cleansing South Africa”
Ramaphosa made this statement alongside German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who admitted that the international environment was observing the inquiry with keen interest.
“This commission is a cleansing process of all the bad things that have happened in our country.”
— Ramaphosa addressing the media at Tuynhuys, Cape Town
“Protect Pravin and others at all cost”
In the midst of the debacle between Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, and the EFF, Ramaphosa came to his defense, criticising the red berets for using intimidation tactics to disrupt the inquiry.
“Pravin Gordhan, very bravely, stood up and told the truth about what he has gone through. Our task is to support and defend people like Pravin Gordhan and a number of others that are going to come forward.”
— Ramaphosa speaking at the Gauteng South African Jewish Board of Deputies
“State capture will surprise people”
Ramaphosa was quoted by the media reacting to the revelations that had, so far, been unearthed by the commission.
“Many of us were as surprise as everyone else, because many of the things were unknown to us. It will continue surprising people, but we have to have patience. It is a commission appointed by the president. They will go through everything and then issue a report.”
— Ramaphosa speaking at the Foreign Correspondents’ Association of Southern Africa
“Capture the state…”
In a play on words, Ramaphosa encouraged South Africans to embrace the fact that the country is no longer “in the era of state capture”, but that it was time for citizens to capture the state — to make it beneficial for everyone.
“This is a new era, it is no longer the era of state capture – it is an era of the people capturing the state … and making the state work better for them.
“You must capture the state and make sure that it works for you.”
— Ramaphosa addressing the crowd at Walter Sisulu University stadium
“The positive side of state capture”
At his recent trip to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum (WEF) Ramaphosa touched on the positive side of seeing government officials being implicated in state capture.
“The positive thing is‚ while the truth comes out‚ it is adding to our resolve as a country and as a government and as a people to fight corruption‚ to bring it to an end and to make sure that those who have been complicit in acts of corruption are brought to book.”
Ramaphosa at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland