COSATU statement on the Zondo Commission report

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted the release of the first section of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry Report into State Capture and Corruption by Judge Zondo. The Federation thanks Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and his team for their hard work and diligence in delivering this important report. 

The Federation looks forward to the release of the remaining two sections of the Reports. The first part of the report paints a damning picture of the explosion of state capture and corruption over the past decade across the state. 

We hope that the report will not be another waste of money like the Seriti Commission report that was looking into the arms deal. The Federation remains unhappy with the slow progress when it comes to prosecuting those who are implicated in corruption. There are no acceptable excuses anymore, we demand action now. A lot of money has been spent on investigating corruption allegations by the Zondo Commission and workers demand value for their tax rands.  

What is needed now is for the National Prosecuting Authority and the South African Police Service to act swiftly upon its recommendations, to charge and prosecute the implicated, and ensure that they are brought to justice.   

Prosecuting the guilty is not just about accountability and justice but it is also about deterrence. Criminals and fraudsters should know that there is a price to be paid for stealing. This should equally apply to both the public and private sector.  

COSATU welcomes the various proposals by the Zondo Commission to tackle the endemic levels of corruption and malfeasance in the state, as well as leakages in the public procurement system.  Many of these recommendations are like the proposals that COSATU has been making to strengthen the fight against corruption.  

These progressive proposals will remain meaningless unless they are implemented, and the legislative powers given to the state to tackle corruption are fully exercised.  The Auditing Act was amended in 2018 and it enables the state to hold personally financially liable any politician or manager implicated in corruption and wasteful expenditure. Government needs to show decisive leadership and action in the fight against corruption and state capture if we are to turn the tide. 

Today, our country is struggling to provide jobs, education, and affordable healthcare for its citizens because of the looting that has taken place over the past two decades.  

The Federation appreciates the initial work that has been being done by the new administration to strengthen the law enforcement agencies and other judicial institutions. We call on the Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana to allocate adequate resources to the National Prosecuting Authority, the Special Investigating Unit and Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation to ensure that they appoint enough investigators and prosecutors to deal with the cases originating from the Zondo commission, and corruption in general.  

We hope that this will represent the end of a regrettable chapter of corruption and looting in the country. The Federation hopes that South Africa will never have another Commission of Inquiry investigating corruption, and that lessons have been learnt by our government.   

To avoid another state capture commission, we need to ensure that there is transparency in all government contracts, or anywhere where taxpayers is involved. We need everyone’s energies to be focused on fixing the ailing economy and reducing unemployment and poverty.  

Issued by COSATU    

Sizwe Pamla (COSATU National Spokesperson)    

Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 679