No one is above the law: CR

The New Age (Western Cape) - - Politics - BONOLO SELE­BANO bono­los@the­newage.co.za

PO­LIT­I­CAL ruc­tions over the Zondo com­mis­sion of in­quiry into state cap­ture played out yes­ter­day in Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the Na­tional Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment and Labour Coun­cil (Ned­lac) Or­gan­ised Labour School.

With just a week to go be­fore Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma is ex­pected to de­liver his state of the na­tion address (Sona), amid ru­mours that the ANC will give him the chop be­fore then, Ramaphosa used his address yes­ter­day to say that no ANC leader was above the law and ev­ery­one was sub­ject to the Con­sti­tu­tion, re­gard­less of who it may be.

“The ANC emerged from its elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber with a clear man­date to act de­ci­sively against cor­rup­tion and state cap­ture. We re­main res­o­lute that no act of cor­rup­tion will go un­pun­ished, re­gard­less of the iden­tity of the per­pe­tra­tor,” Ramaphosa said.

“A ca­pa­ble and ef­fi­cient de­vel­op­men­tal state en­vis­aged in our Con­sti­tu­tion and the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Plan can­not take root in a sea of pa­tron­age, greed and wil­ful eco­nomic sab­o­tage.”

Ramaphosa’s com­ments come against the back­ground of the ap­point­ment of a com­mis­sion of in­quiry into state cap­ture. Adding to the mix was the Na­tional Prose­cut­ing Author­ity and the Hawks step­ping into the fi­nal stages of their in­ves­ti­ga­tions into nu­mer­ous state cap­ture com­plaints brought be­fore them.

Re­gard­ing the push to im­ple­ment the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Plan (NDP), Ramaphosa lamented the lack of sup­port from labour on the gov­ern­ment’s eco­nomic strat­egy and ap­proach to job cre­ation.

“I was greatly dis­ap­pointed by labour’s lack of par­tic­i­pa­tion when we were draft­ing the NDP. And labour, yes, had a rep­re­sen­ta­tive and, may I say, that rep­re­sen­ta­tive dis­ap­peared af­ter some time. “But in fur­ther en­gage­ments, labour was a re­luc­tant par­tic­i­pant and player,” Ramaphosa said.

The ANC’s Cosatu and SACP al­liance part­ners have ex­pressed con­cerns about the labour mar­ket sec­tions of the NDP, and called for it to be re­viewed.

How­ever, Ramaphosa ac­knowl­edged that of­ten labour had been marginalised from key eco­nomic de­bates and promised to en­gen­der a cul­ture of dis­cus­sion and con­sen­sus build­ing among Ned­lac so­cial part­ners.

“I see labour play­ing a key role. The days where labour is just a re­cip­i­ent of so­lu­tions that come from board of di­rec­tors are gone.”

Ramaphosa made ref­er­ence to the coun­try’s slug­gish eco­nomic growth, ar­gu­ing that skills de­vel­op­ment was one of the ar­eas which could re­verse the down­turn.

“We are now in the mid­dle of an econ­omy slump. Our growth prospects are not the kind of growth prospects that can gen­er­ate jobs. We need to work to­gether to address what im­pedes econ­omy growth,” Ramaphosa said.

PIC­TURE: BONGIWE MCHUNU

IN­QUIRY: Deputy chief jus­tice Ray­mond Zondo.

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