The Democratic Alliance has noted, with great concern, reports of President Jacob Zuma’s 2009 representations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), in which he negates corruption as a victimless crime, which finds its roots in the Western world.
“I will be writing to the President to demand clarity about this disturbing position he took and whether he agrees with existing legislation,” said Helen Zille, the leader of the Democratic Alliance.
The National Prosecuting Authority did not accept Zuma’s argument either.
In their scathing response to this point, the prosecutors write:
“The law prescribes that it is criminal. Until the law is amended to provide that institutionalised cronyism is not criminal, the ‘Western paradigm’ will have to be accepted.”
President Zuma evidently sees corruption as something that should be swept under the carpet, without repercussions.
With these comments, it is clear that President Zuma speaks with a forked tongue when he commits to tackling corruption, especially in the public sector.
It is no wonder that the President and ANC Members of Parliament (MPs) show a severe disregard for the role of the Public Protector and her remedial action steps, because, in their warped view, corruption is not a matter that deserves any remedy.
The preamble to the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Act states that “The illicit acquisition of personal wealth can be particularly damaging to democratic institutions, national economies, ethical values and the rule of law.”
With this in mind, it is difficult not to conclude that the President condones lawlessness.
Corruption under Jacob Zuma is the cancer that eats away at opportunity and growth in our society.