South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has re-established a permanent anti-corruption agency in Africa’s most industrialized nation in his official response to the findings of an inquiry that blamed his governing African National Congress for the country’s post-apartheid graft scandal.
Ramaphosa announced the overhaul in a televised address on Sunday as part of “a new chapter in our struggle against corruption” after a decade of accusations of looting under Jacob Zuma, the former president, that has been blamed for rolling blackouts and other ills holding back South Africa’s economy.
The government will make permanent a special directorate of the national prosecuting authority that has been investigating the plunder, known locally as “state capture”.
The move effectively revives a similar prosecutorial unit, the Scorpions, that was neutered years ago by the ANC, which had ruled the country since 1994.
“This response constitutes an ethical, moral and institutional departure from the abuses revealed.” [by the inquiry],” Ramaphosa said. “The people of South Africa are tired of corruption and want it to end,” he added.
The inquiry, headed by South Africa’s chief justice, concluded this year that Zuma “readily opened the doors” for looting of the Eskom power monopoly by the Guptas, three Indian-born brothers, and that he manipulated the national spy agency to pursue political opponents as part of a policy of wrecking institutions.
Read more about South Africa’s anti-corruption agency here.