11 March 2019 – 05:02 (Business Day)
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
One has to wonder what planet President Cyril Ramaphosa has been living on since 2011, which is when the Constitutional Court laid down, in the second Hugh Glenister case, the binding criteria it prescribes for effective and adequately independent anticorruption machinery of state.
Doughty IFP MP Narend Singh asked, during president’s question time, whether the president would not consider introducing a new institution to effect what is clearly the best practice means of complying with the court’s judgment.
The reply was a total surprise: the president found the idea of establishing a new Chapter Nine Institution to prevent, combat, investigate and prosecute grand corruption a “refreshing” one worthy of “mulling over”. All of the advocacy, ongoing litigation, representations to (and the IFP motion in) parliament, as well as proposed draft legislation have apparently not crossed the presidential radar until now.
The president will be able to mull well by making the Glenister case page of the Accountability Now website his bedtime reading. He is sure to wake refreshed with a ready-made solution to a most pressing problem in hand. If Singh MP’s question has planted the seed of the long-awaited integrity commission, he will have done his country a great service by asking it.
Paul Hoffman SC