Ramaphosa vows to recover billions 'stolen' from taxpayers through state capture

20 June 2019 - 20:45 By THABO MOKONE
The state of the nation address in parliament, Cape Town, on Thursday.
The state of the nation address in parliament, Cape Town, on Thursday.
Image: Esa Alexander

President Cyril Ramaphosa vowed on Thursday to recover almost R14bn that had been “stolen” from taxpayers through corruption and state capture.

He announced during his state of the nation address that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is to mount civil claims to recoup the money over the next few months.

His newly elected government was determined to ensure that taxpayers' money "stolen" in the last several years was returned to the public purse.

President Cyril Ramaphosa tackled numerous issues during his State of the nation address on June 20 2019. From recouping money lost to State Capture, Eskom’s continuous woes to youth unemployment and Investment into South Africa - here’s all you need to know from Ramaphosa’s Sona address.

LISTEN: The State of the Nation address in full

"We need to ensure that public money stolen is returned and used to deliver services and much needed basic infrastructure to the poorest communities," said Ramaphosa.

"We expect that the new SIU Special Tribunal will start its work within the next few months to fast-track civil claims arising from SIU investigations, which are currently estimated to be around R14.7bn."

Ramaphosa said there would be no place for corrupt and immoral leaders in his government.

"We want a corps of skilled and professional public servants of the highest moral standards – and dedicated to the public good.

"We will build on the work we have already begun to address problems of poor governance, inefficiency and financial sustainability.

"We are committed to building an ethical state in which there is no place for corruption, patronage, rent-seeking and plundering of public money," said Ramaphosa.

He said measures introduced earlier to root out state capture and corruption, including improving the capacities of key state security agencies such as the National Prosecuting Authority, SA Revenue Service, the SIU and the spy agencies, were yielding results.

"But there is still much more work to do," said Ramaphosa.

"We have asked the National Director of Public Prosecutions to develop a plan to significantly increase the capacity and effectiveness of the NPA, including to ensure effective asset forfeiture."