- Herman Mashaba has addressed President Cyril Ramaphosa himself in a scathing open letter
- Mashaba denounced the lack of accountability and the state's efforts to end corruption
- The former mayor didn't mince his words over Ramaphosa's perceived attitude towards graft
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Herman Mashaba has sent President Cyril Ramaphosa an open letter over his dismay regarding the apparent lack of accountability and the government's alleged lack of effort when it comes to countering corruption.
During his most recent address to South Africans, Ramaphosa had touched on allegations relating to the Covid-19 relief fund:
“What concerns me and all South Africans, are those instances where funds are stolen and misused, where there is corruption and mismanagement of public funds ... We have established a collaborative centre to prevent, detect and prosecute Covid-19 related corruption.”
READ ALSO: Explainer: President Ramaphosa's plan to tackle Covid-19 corruption
In his letter, Mashaba tells Ramaphosa that citizens have little reason to believe that action will be taken against looters during this critical time:
“This is not concerning, Mr President. Concerning is how we feel about getting older every day, it is how cold it is in the mornings, or the lack of sleep we get at night. These issues are concerning. The looting of public funds intended to provide relief to people in the Covid-19 crisis is despicable. It is an act of the lowest forms of life and it is criminal.”
Mashaba pointed to his time as the mayor of Johannesburg and his track record for clamping down on corruption:
“I know a thing or two about tackling corruption. In my three years as mayor of Johannesburg, I established a world class anti-corruption unit with many of the people who were sidelined from the Scorpions, NPA, and Hawks for doing their job a little too effectively. This unit relentlessly pursued corruption, investigated over 6 000 cases worth R35bn and affected over 800 arrests.”
Mashaba insists that Ramaphosa's attitude towards the situation isn't what it should be in order for him to be taken seriously:
“I declared corruption public enemy number one. I described the people who looted as snakes and spoke frequently of the need to hunt them down. When you say corruption is concerning, it is a cue to your law enforcement agencies, the country and the looters that you don't take the issue too seriously.”
The politician says that it remains highly unlikely that any form of justice will be served:
“It is statistically more likely for a young person to become a drug addict than it is for corrupt officials in your government to face any form of consequence. Between the Hawks, SAPS and NPA, a case has not even been brought to court as a symbolic warning that those who continue to loot should even slow down.”
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that Ramaphosa vowed that consequences will be 'very, very severe' for those caught red-handed.
Ramaphosa said that a 'coordinating centre' has been established to reinforce efforts between law enforcement agencies and to help investigate corruption allegations. These allegations relate to social relief grants, the procurement of personal protective equipment and the distribution of food parcels.
The president revealed, without going into details, that 36 cases are currently at an advanced stage of investigation. This coordinating hub is based at the Financial Intelligence Centre and sees nine state institutions brought together.
This includes the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, the National Prosecuting Authority, the Hawks, the South African Revenue Service, the State Security Agency and the Special Investigations Unit.
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