The world is watching state capture inquiry‚ says German president

The visiting German head of state made the remarks during a media briefing as part of his official visit‚ hosted by President Cyril Ramaphosa at his Cape Town office Tuynhuys on Tuesday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted the president of the Federal Republic of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier (m) on a state visit to South Africa, in Cape Town on Tuesday, November 20 2018. Image: Esa Alexander/Sunday Times

Steinmeier said his country regarded the state capture commission of inquiry as “an important signal” of how seriously South Africa was tackling corruption.

Steinmeier added that there was renewed interest in South Africa as an investment destination following years of waning trust between the previous administration under then-president Jacob Zuma and international investors.

“We’re visiting you at a time when interest in SA is awakening again. We’re following the new developments in SA with great interest.

“We’re following your new policies‚ your efforts to strengthen the independence of the judiciary by creating transparency; also your efforts to fight corruption.

“We’re following very closely the governmental institutions’ efforts [to fight] what is called state capture in SA. They are a very important signal to the international community‚ it’s a signal that is very well received in Germany‚” said Steinmeier.

The German president said investors were not keen to put their money in countries where corruption was thriving.

Germany is South Africa’s third-largest trading partner‚ with more than 600 German companies based in the country. Those companies employ more than 100‚000 people.

Steinmeier is joined by a business delegation from his country‚ and said they were looking to exploit further business opportunities in South Africa.

Ramaphosa said it did not surprise him that members of the international community were paying close attention to the state capture commission of inquiry.

“The state capture issue is an opportunity that they are looking at. To see the extent to which we’re able to correct our ways [and] to get rid of tendencies and practices that were completely against the normal type of clean governance that they would have expected.

“So this commission is almost a cleansing process of all the bad things that have happened in our country.”

“So this commission is almost a cleansing process of all the bad things that have happened in our country.”

The two countries‚ both recently elected to be non-permanent members of the UN Security Council for 2019/20‚ have also pledged to work together in protecting the current multi-lateral system‚ which they said was facing a threat from nationalists in various parts of the world.

“Since both our countries have been elected as non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council for 2019/20‚ we have agreed to work together to promote global peace and security but also to promote multilateralism and strengthen the multilateralism system‚” said Ramaphosa.

Steinmeier was the first German president to undertake a state visit to South Africa since 1998.

In Germany‚ the role of a president is largely ceremonial‚ with the chancellor (prime minister) carrying the executive responsibility for the country’s government. For the past 13 years, Angela Merkel served as chancellor; she has recently announced not to stand for re-election.

By: Thabo Mokone 

Source: TMG Digital.

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