06 February 2020 – 16:44
The growing clamour in favour of the creation of a capable state in SA is putting pressure on the government to just do it, given the constraints that persistent symptoms of state capture pose for the reform-minded.
There is one fundamental reform without which the establishment of a capable state is impossible. The ongoing ravages of grand corruption have to be confronted effectively and efficiently; the loot has to be recovered before it is dissipated completely.
This happy state cannot be achieved in the absence of committed compliance with the criteria set by the Constitutional Court for the functioning of our anti-corruption machinery of state. Dedicated and specialised staff who are well-trained, properly resourced and who enjoy independence from the executive branch of government as well as security of tenure of office, are required by law now.
Any failure to overcome the constitutional delinquency of the wasted Zuma years will render the establishment of a capable state impossible. Best practice means to do what is necessary is to establish a new Chapter Nine integrity commission to investigate and prosecute the corrupt.
It is the urgent business of government to embrace this long-overdue task. The necessary draft constitutional amendment and enabling legislation already exist and await official scrutiny. President Cyril Ramaphosa has been mulling the Chapter Nine integrity commission notion. Hopefully he will announce its adoption by the government during his state of the nation address.
The current dysfunction in the criminal justice administration, so cruelly exposed by Richard Quest at Davos, is best addressed by establishing a Chapter Nine integrity commission. It is the shortest route to renewed investment interest in SA.