It s time we all spoke out

Sunday World - - Letters - Nee­shan Bal­ton, Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor: Ahmed Kathrada Foun­da­tion

WHEN the in­fa­mous Gup­taWaterk­loof mil­i­tary air­port in­ci­dent took place, the Ahmed Kathrada Foun­da­tion stated that: The proud legacy of strug­gle by our lead­ers and peo­ple must never be eroded by the dis­dain­ful deeds of a sin­gle fam­ily that at­tempts to wield power through the ped­dling of in­flu­ence over high-pro­file politi­cians and civil ser­vants.

South Africans need to un­der­stand why and how a sin­gle fam­ily has come to wield such enor­mous power and in­flu­ence over sec­tions of govern­ment and its ad­min­is­tra­tion.”

This week, the Ahmed Kathrada Foun­da­tion reaf­firms this state­ment.

The con­fir­ma­tion by Deputy Min­is­ter of Fi­nance Mce­bisi Jonas that he was ap­proached and of­fered the job of fi­nance min­is­ter be­fore the sack­ing of for­mer min­is­ter Nh­lanhla Nene once more puts the spot­light on the need to probe the political in­flu­ence and power of the Gupta fam­ily.

We note also that since the deputy min­is­ter s state­ment, other pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives have come for­ward with sim­i­lar claims.

The Ahmed Kathrada Foun­da­tion sup­ports the call made by lead­ers of var­i­ous sec­tors of so­ci­ety for an in­de­pen­dent and im­par­tial ju­di­cial com­mis­sion of in­quiry into the al­le­ga­tions that have been made thus far.

Fur­ther­more, it calls on other pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives who may have been sub­jected to sim­i­lar ap­proaches from the Gupta fam­ily to come for­ward and ex­pose any such sin­is­ter in­ter­ac­tions and con­duct.

We be­lieve that the time has come for all South Africans to speak out against the grow­ing lead­er­ship cri­sis that is un­fold­ing in our coun­try. We can­not al­low our coun­try and its demo­cratic in­sti­tu­tions to be taken over by a klep­toc­racy. Our fo­cus must be on at­tain­ing the vi­sion of the Free­dom Char­ter and the con­sti­tu­tion. We owe this to the mil­lions of our peo­ple who sac­ri­ficed so much to make our democ­racy pos­si­ble. We owe it to the mil­lions who still need to taste the fruits of free­dom.

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