Bout of spring-cleaning must scrub out the dirty office bearers, too

04 October 2020 - 00:00 By Sunday Times Editorial

When Cyril Ramaphosa took over the presidency of the ANC at Nasrec in 2017, there were high hopes for national renewal, a yearning among people that Ramaphosa neatly captured in the "New Dawn" slogan that energised his campaign. Two things stand out from the unrealistic burden placed on our president's shoulders then: first, that SA is a constitutional democracy, which allows the president substantial, but not unlimited, powers; second, that his predecessor Jacob Zuma's determined hollowing-out of law enforcement had largely opened the way for wholesale looting, especially of state-owned enterprises. It was the age of impunity.

The hopes pinned on Ramaphosa seemed justified when, in April 2018, agents of the Asset Forfeiture Unit and the South African Revenue Service swooped on the infamous Gupta compound in Saxonwold. Alas, the brothers stayed ahead of the game, and to this day are no doubt languishing in luxury, thanks to the South African taxpayer, in Dubai...

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