Transparency International and its partner in South Africa, Corruption Watch, are calling on Members of Parliament to vote for the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma because of the mounting evidence of grand corruption and state capture in the country.
On Monday and Tuesday this week thousands are expected to march across South Africa calling for President Zuma to go. President Zuma, his family and political associates are accused of colluding with business interests, in particular the powerful Gupta business family, for personal gain. These allegations include the awarding of key positions in criminal justice institutions and on the boards of state-owned enterprises based on personal loyalty rather than on merit or independence.
“Public governance has been undermined. Civil society and ordinary citizens are in the streets asking for change. This is a chance for South Africa to show that integrity can be at the centre of its politics, not corruption. Politicians must listen to the people. Enough is enough. The evidence of grand corruption and state capture is mounting. This hurts everyone in South Africa,” said David Lewis, Executive Director of Corruption Watch.
“Grand corruption on this scale robs citizens of their rights. Money that should help them goes to line the pockets of the politically connected. This must stop. People are in the streets and politicians must listen to their voices. President Zuma must go,” said José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International.
Key reports, including State of Capture by former Public Protector and Transparency International Integrity Award Winner Thuli Madonsela, have shown how public officials have taken bribes in awarding contracts to the private sector. In addition, the recent leak of thousands of emails allegedly show how the powerful Gupta family businesses bribed public officials including President Zuma’s son and orchestrated a web of corruption involving many multinational companies. The Guptas deny the authenticity of the emails.
Transparency International is calling for a full, transparent investigation into the role of multinational companies named in the leaked emails. These include consulting giant McKinsey & Co, which has mutually agreed a leave of absence with one of its partners, Vikas Sagar, pending an internal investigation, and accounting giant KPMG.
Corruption Watch is preparing documentation to pass to the US Department of Justice which could open investigations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act as the companies involved in the allegations all do business in the US.
This statement was updated on 10 August to reflect the situation at McKinsey & Co.
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