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Deal with corruption‚ MPs say ahead of Ramaphosa's first Sona

16 February 2018 - 16:30 By Aphiwe Deklerk
Newly appointed South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
Newly appointed South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.

Corruption is high up in the list of issues political parties want new state president Cyril Ramaphosa to address in his inaugural state of the nation address.

Ramaphosa is expected to deliver his first Sona later on Friday after he was elected unopposed in Parliament on Thursday following Jacob Zuma’s resignation on Wednesday night.

Now South Africans are eager to hear what he has planned to help move the country forward following a scandal-strewn Zuma presidency.

Inkatha Freedom Party chief whip Narend Singh said there was a great deal of optimism around Parliament following Ramaphosa’s election‚ but he has to match this with action.

“We expect him to speak about corruption; state corruption. How is he going to decisively deal with people who have been [involved in] corruption‚ including people in his cabinet‚” said Singh.

He said Ramaphosa should also tell the country that he was going to crack the whip on people like Social Development minister Bathabile Dlamini and Mineral Resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane.

DA chief whip‚ John Steenhuisen‚ echoed similar sentiments - going as far as asking for top ANC leaders like secretary-general Ace Magashule and David Mabuza to face the music for their role in state capture.

“[He needs to say] how he is going to deal with corruption and state capture. It’s all good for him to talk out the good game [but] we need some high profile people going to jail. And that includes people who may be uncomfortable close to him in his own party‚ people like Ace Magashule and DD Mabuza‚” he said.

South African Communist Party deputy secretary‚ Solly Mapaila‚ said Ramaphosa needed to deal with state capture.

“The most important thing is that we want him deal with the parasitic network that has developed a parallel state system which was then used to loot state coffers and state entities‚” said Mapaila.

Singh and Steenhuisen said Ramaphosa also needed to clear up uncertainty over land reform and fee free higher education‚ announced by Zuma late last year.

“I think there is broad agreement among all parties that the pace of land reform has been too slow. It’s been inefficiently managed‚” said Steenhuisen.

He said‚ currently‚ Ramaphosa had been walking a tightrope between what he tells business and what he told his party about expropriation of land without compensation.

Steenhuisen added that it was essential that Ramaphosa addressed how he was going to get the country out of the economic crisis it is in.

“We are in a situation where we have got R70-billion deficit‚ we’ve got a flat line growth and we have got 9-million unemployed people‚ many of whom are young people‚” he added.

In welcoming Ramaphosa’s appointment‚ Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) said he needed to take decisive steps to build business confidence thereby clearing the way for investment in the economy‚ job creation and transformation.

“South Africans are looking for the clear signs of consistent‚ ethical and accountable leadership‚ acting in the best interests of the country that are starting to emerge‚” it said in a statement.