No one is above the law: CR
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.
INQUIRY: Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.