Former Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan has yet again, raised alarm over billions of rand lost to the controversial state capture.
The former minister charged the bodies who are investigating the information on state capture to hasten their work, adding that about R250 billion has so far been lost to the matter.
Speaking at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business on Tuesday, Gordhan further charged academics to also help fast track the state capture investigation by conducting their own investigations.
“That money (from state capture) finds itself in various places… where you will find a bank account containing some of your tax payers’ money. South Africa does find itself at an important inflection point,” Pravin Gordhan said.
“It can succumb to the wiliness of the schemes we collectively call state capture and the fantastic ability – because you’ve got to give credit where it’s due … to produce so many Houdini’s in one country.
“You’ve got people who appear to be repeatedly trapped and seen to be transparently filling your pockets, and yet nothing happens to you. I think that is an amazing feat – to have it happening in front of millions of South Africans.
“It’s an amazing feat to see through these slights of hand and the way in which a well-connected syndicate as actually developed a system of capturing the state with the prime purpose of extracting from the state large sums of money.”
Pravin Gordhan urged South Africans to act against state capture as it could dire consequences for the country.
Last month, Pravin warned that that country had lost up to R100 billion which could have been used as social grants.
“State capture has no holy cows‚” he said. “The criminal justice system is completely paralysed in dealing with state capture. The judiciary remains strong but for how long?”
“If Zuma, the Guptas and their cronies, are successful in capturing Treasury then every government budget and policy decision will be determined by the President and one corrupt family.
“It will allow historically white owned businesses and global corporations to escape accountability. Institutions meant to deal with the most urgent tasks of wealth redistribution, which are meant to protect our freedom and uphold the Constitution, will be ruined and incapacitated,” said Pravin Gordhan
He said it was possible that the Electoral Commission of SA and the Public Investment Corporation, which manages state pensions, could also be vulnerable‚ as the focus of state capture was accumulating wealth and power.
Meanwhile, ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize has said that the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) had decided that Zuma must go ahead with the commission of Inquiry – but when pressed on why it had not yet been established‚ the former KZN premier said it was just a matter of time.
“Do we believe the president will appoint the commission? We do believe it. We also believe it’s not just been shelved‚” he said.
Zuma’s legal team, on the other hand, warned that the High Court risks declaring potentially unlawful remedial action as lawful if it compels the President to establish a state capture judicial commission of inquiry.
In arguments heard in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday in the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) application to compel Zuma to adhere to the remedial action, the team said that Public Protector’s order to establish the commission of inquiry and for the chief justice to appoint the presiding judge is unconstitutional.
The president maintained only he had the power to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry.