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Bishops call for anti-corruption court

The Justice and Peace Commission of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) has called for the creation of a specialised court – one that will deal exclusively with corruption.

The call, made in a statement, followed the judgement delivered on the case involving President Zuma, the National Prosecutions Authority (NPA) and the Democratic Alliance.

“The court battle on the spy gate and the corresponding corruption allegations
against the president have been going on for more than eight years. If the NPA decides to reinstate corruption charges against the president, the matter will likely continue for another four years. When allegations of corruption hang over the head of a seating president for this long, something gives way,” said Bishop Abel Gabuza.

In our case, he said, it was the “moral fibre of our nation” which had suffered massive damage as a result of people losing confidence in the office ofthe president and its ability to fight corruption at all the levels of government. “For eight years, we have not had a president who leads credibly from the front in the fight against corruption.”

The bishop noted that neither he, nor his colleagues, were experts in constitutional law. “However, considering the damage that protracted corruption cases are inflicting on the moral fibre of our nation, we urge constitutional experts and the law reform commission to guide the nation on the feasibility of establishing an anti-corruption court, with specialised prosecutors, that would ensure speedy and efficient disposal of corruption cases and financial crimes.”

The Justice and Peace Commission pointed out that several countries in the world are already operating such courts, but did not state how a South African version would come about. However, the bishop said it needed to start somewhere.

“We would also like to challenge Mr Ramaphosa, Dr Dlamini-Zuma and other ANC presidential candidates to publicly declare that they will push for theestablishment of specialised anti-corruption court if they are elected ANC president. This will signal to us their seriousness in the fight against political corruption.” SA.

* The opinions expressed here by Spotlight.Africa contributors and editors are their own and not official statements of the Society of Jesus in South Africa or of the Catholic Church unless explicitly stated.


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