Thuli Madonsela urges SA not to wait for criminal courts to remove corrupt leaders from power

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela says South Africans have to stop saying ‘we are going to deal with people and remove them from power once they have been found guilty in a criminal court’.
Image: THULI DLAMINI

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela says South Africans should not wait for corrupt leaders to be found guilty in a court of law to remove them from power.

Madonsela said this while participating as a panelist at a University of the Free State 2020 Thought-Leader Webinar Series event themed “Post-Covid-19, Post-Crisis”. The event focused on politics in SA.

She said corrupt leaders should be removed from power because when unethical.

“The corrupt are now mobilising for the support of the very people from whom they have stolen,” she said.

Madonsela said social justice is important if SA wants to make progress in the fight against corruption.

“If we want SA to do better using the opportunities presented by Covid-19, we will have to do better on three fronts — social justice, ethical governance and rule of law. We have to stop saying we are going to deal with people and remove them from power once they have been found guilty in a criminal court.

“We have to remove them when they are unethical because that’s what the constitution says.”

Madonsela believes South Africans have to make sure they adapt the country’s laws to the challenges of the times, so corrupt leaders don’t escape accountability on technicalities.

“Above all, we must use social justice as a means of growing as a country and as a people and to achieve sustainable development,” she added.

Last week Madonsela sparked a major debate by suggesting amnesty be granted to corrupt individuals who played a “minimal but critical” role in the act.

She argued that lowering the consequences for those found to be corrupt would allow the country to start with a clean slate.

“I think some people would self-disclose if they knew they would be given an opportunity to do so without dire consequences,” she said.

BY Unathi Nkanjeni

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