BLSA supports prosecution of State capture actors, commits to assisting NPA

23rd June 2022 By: Schalk Burger - Creamer Media Senior Contributing Editor

Business organisation Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) says it fully supports the recommendations of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, chaired by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, that criminal charges be filed against several people who played various roles in stealing the assets of the people of South Africa.

"The crimes these people are accused of are serious and it is critical to the future wellbeing of the country that people are held accountable for their actions. It is important for this process to be transparent to show the public that our law enforcement authorities exercise their duties without fear or favour," the organisation says.

Further, the business body is committed to supporting the prosecution processes and capacitating the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), and says it is assessing ways in which it can do so, without compromising ethical considerations.

The BLSA welcomes the handover of the final parts of the report and thanked the Zondo Commission for the meticulous work its team has done over the years of public hearings and scrupulously investigating State capture allegations.

"The public hearings laid bare the depth and breadth of State capture and corruption in both the public and private sectors. Although all the commission’s reports have now been released, this is just the beginning of the storm," BLSA says.

"Over the past couple of weeks, momentum has been building to bring to justice some of those implicated in stripping the State bare, and we now eagerly await charges to be brought against any senior political figures and private sector leaders who have been implicated in the rot," it adds.

Further, Zondo also recommended that structures and processes aimed at preventing corruption in the future be established. This is as important as prosecuting those who are guilty.

BLSA also supports the recommendation that senior appointments at State-owned enterprises cannot be left in the hands of politicians and that an independent body be set up to execute this function.

"Corruption comes at a high price to business and the economy. Prosecuting the villains and strengthening our systems are two of the three elements we need to finally put State capture behind us and ensure it never happens again. The final element is to recover what was stolen," the organisation says.