Gayton McKenzie on mafia state: We need to dismantle these gangs before they dismantle SA

Patriotic Alliance leader and Central Karoo district municipality mayor Gayton McKenzie has painted a grim picture of a mafia state, warning SA needs to rid itself of these gangs or risk them “dismantling” the country.

Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie says government has lost the fight against crime.
Image: Eugene Coetzee/The Herald

Several reports by the Sunday Times and TimesLIVE in recent weeks have exposed cartels in the constructioncoal and long-distance transport industries, among other sectors.

As commentators weighed in on the effects these groups are having on society and the economy, McKenzie said the government had failed to address the issue.

“Construction mafia, tow truck mafia, cigarette mafia, taxi mafia, gun smuggling mafia, fuel mafia, kidnapping mafia, drug cartels, Eskom and home affairs mafias. Our government has lost the fight against crime”.

He said these “gangs” need to be broken up.

“We need to dismantle these gangs before they dismantle SA totally”.

Columnist William Gumede said “large parts of SA’s politics, economy and society have been taken over by criminal enterprises and the ‘ideology’ of crime, raising the spectre that the country is on the verge of becoming a fully-fledged criminal state”.

“Criminals are accepted in the private sector, religion, traditional structures, parties and the state, and are normalised as legitimate. Many honest, ordinary South Africans wrongly think that criminal enterprises only operate in the informal sector or ‘underground’. But many are above ground, operating as normal registered enterprises with seemingly credible business executives,” he added.

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela said corruption was driven by a “gangster culture”.

Speaking at the Pavocat-Stellenbosch Academy Counter-Corruption Summit recently, Madonsela warned the idea “you don’t touch family” is crippling the country.

“Of the systemic things that come together to create a corrupt world, among those is the gangster culture. That’s one thing I came across as a protector, there’s a gangster mentality globally and I can see that mentality primarily in America and SA.

“I started seeing it as public protector in 2010 and I wrote about it, spoke about it on a platform like this and I said to the governing party, which was my former party: ‘We’re not the mafia. You can’t tell me don’t touch family’.”

TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)

Kyle Zeeman