The latest morally reprehensible Covid-19 PPE scandal comes as no surprise. This is what we have come to expect from a political leadership focused on looting the public purse.
Unashamed nepotism, graft and corruption forms part of a moral decay that has pervaded state organs, the parastatals and the leadership in various municipalities, provinces and national government.
The public is tired of speeches and ‘integrity commissions’ that results in no-confidence building outcomes. Concrete outcomes like the prosecution and imprisonment of the perpetrators of corruption will go a long way in rebuilding our fragmented society.
Government has no option but to immediately increase the resources available to the various arms of the criminal justice system that deal specifically with corruption (government corruption in particular) and to ensure that these institutions are totally independent of political interference. In addition, and bearing in mind the capacity deficits in the state, it is critically important to build strategic partnerships with the private sector to build the necessary capacity.
The appointment and promotion of corruption-accused Zandile Gumede to the KZN legislature (she has since been asked to step aside while her corruption case is finalized) defies logic and makes a mockery of the promises made by the ANC to deal decisively with corruption and nepotism. It is now quite evident that the ANC is unable to correct itself on its own. They have shown its voters and donors the proverbial middle finger.
South Africans have had enough!
If the rampant theft is not halted immediately we will be staring down the barrel of a popular revolution. We call on Government and the ruling parties in the provinces to spare no effort in doing whatever is needed to stem the looting immediately. There are internal and particularly external forces that would like to see our beautiful country made ungovernable and will exploit the general disenchantment, financial woes and dissatisfaction of the public to push for a “revolution” which will only make things worse.
The longer we allow the present rot to ferment, the higher the chances and the opportunities for nefarious agendas. It must be made clear to all political parties, tenderpreneurs of all political persuasions and the corrupt private businesses and institutions who facilitate this corruption that none will be spared and the long arm of the law will take its course decisively.
There are too many skeletons within the ANC’s cupboards for it to be able to take the decisive action necessary.
Therefore, it now lies with civil society to once again mobilize in the same way we did against apartheid to preserve the future of our country and our children.
We must help the ANC to save itself, even it if means forcing it into action by mass action. In addition, the same must apply to other political parties who also have their fair share of looters and incompetent deployees.
For Muslims Almighty God’s literal words in his final testament, the Holy Quran, are unequivocal for those who believe – to firstly practice justice, honesty and integrity; and secondly to stand up, literally and figuratively, for social justice. The corruption scourge is a greater danger to this country than the coronavirus and once again, it is now time for civil society to rise up collectively, free of party politics, to save our country.
The Qur’an says:“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do” (Chapter An’isa –4: verse135)
It is now upon civil society to save our own country from internal and external looters and from those who want to exploit the present circumstances. It is time to mobilize together and send a clear message to the Government, all political parties and to the looters, irrespective of which political party they are aligned to, that we demand integrity and competence. We support the call to action for a UDF-styled mass movement to eradicate the scourge of corruption. South Africans stood up and made huge sacrifices to defeat apartheid and it is now necessary for us once again stand up and be counted to preserve the future of our country and our children.
We need to emphasize that it is not only the ANC that is plagued with shameless looters and our collective front must be a warning to the other political parties who are infected too.
We should withhold support and donations to political parties until they made this pledge and commitment.
Enough is enough! South Africans demand clear and decisive action immediately, not promises of action.
Dr Faisal Suliman
Chairperson: South African Muslim Network.