Churches join fight to root out government corruption | News24

The South African Council of Churches (SACC) is planning to mobilise all sectors of society against government corruption, which was recently highlighted by the looting of Covid-19 funds.

2020-08-10 06:30:00 PM

The South African Council of Churches is planning to mobilise all sectors of society against government corruption, which was recently highlighted by the looting of Covid-19 funds | WitnessKZN

The South African Council of Churches (SACC) is planning to mobilise all sectors of society against government corruption, which was recently highlighted by the looting of Covid-19 funds.

“There comes a time when the moral depravity of some in positions of authority, and in the private sector, undermines the very notion of nationhood and the underlying value of public service.“After years of state capture and unethical governance, and more recently, large scale looting of Covid-19 emergency funding, that time is upon us,” SACC general secretary Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana said.

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Given that corruption was a direct attack on citizens’ rights, the SACC had resolved to put in place measures to protect the rights of citizens.“In the next week, the SACC and its partner organisations will work with a number of other formations, academics, and legal experts to mobilise a comprehensive societal response against corruption.

“This includes the reopening of the ‘Unburdening Panel’ for whistleblowers and public servants to report corruption, as well as a national call for the public to demonstrate their outrage at not only the looting, but the lack of consequences for it,” Mpumlwana said.

The organisations, Mpumlwana said, will in the next few days be exerting pressure on government to address the culture of corruption within departments and state entities.“We will use whatever means of mobilisation possible under Covid-19 restrictions to make it known to government that we will not accept its ‘paper commitments’ about tackling corruption and ensure that those implicated in corrupt activities are investigated and prosecuted.

“We want to see the corrupt in jail,” he said.After evidence of mass corruption in the procurement of Covid-19 items ranging from PPE to blankets, Finance minister Tito Mboweni issued a statement saying that government was not aware that there were people waiting to loot Covid-19 funds.

However, Mpumlwana described Mboweni’s statement as disingenuous“The state cannot tell us that they did not know that the ‘predators’ were waiting to ‘eat’ early on in the pandemic. The SACC warned about this in April and called for specific Covid-19 corruption busting measures,” he said.

Government, Mpumlwana said, should disclose to citizens how it spent the R500 billion meant to fight Covid-19. “Practical measures should be put in place to ensure all further expenditure of these funds, as well as the IMF loan, is made public in real-time.

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“We also demand that budgets for all Covid-19 related contracts at all levels of government are made public, along with the unit prices paid per item/ for services,” he said. Read more: News24 »

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