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SA was captured by corrupt elements, says Ramaphosa

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma will be subjected to South Africa’s rule of law without fear, favour or prejudice over corruption, says ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa.

And Ramaphosa says South Africa was captured by corrupt elements and people who purported to be close to the President who have been doing bad things by getting into government institutions.

Featuring on BBC’s Hardtalk television programme, Ramaphosa, who was asked if he would pardon President Zuma should he be prosecuted for corruption, said whatever would need to be done with Zuma would have to be done following the due process of the law.

“We have the rule of law in our country and people always want to see justice done without fear, without favour, without prejudice…we will follow the process that anyone who is a South African will be subjected to,” Ramaphosa said. “And when we engage with President Jacob Zuma, we obviously point out the challenges that lie ahead.”

He said he was looking at various options with regards President Zuma’s fate, which should be managed very carefully since he still had 18 months to rule South Africa.

“In this transitional period we are looking at all options, various options, many people say he should go, others say ‘no’…I think we should manage it very carefully that whatever we do, it should be in the interest of South Africans,” Ramaphosa said. “A new dawn is on the horizon, we are now involved in a new era, there is a new leadership in SA and this new leadership is just barely a month old in its position and we are dealing with this matter and obviously what everyone wants to see addressed is the tenure that Jacob Zuma still has to serve out…in these 18 months obviously a lot of things can happen, but he and I have agreed to be meeting more regularly.”

 

Asked if President Zuma was under pressure, he said, “Obviously any normal human being would be anxious. He is feeling anxious and wants things to be handled carefully.”

 

When asked if President Zuma was asking for immunity from prosecution, Ramaphosa said he had not asked for it.

 

He added that there were quite a number of charges that were being looked at which would be preferred against President Zuma.

 

And in response to whether or not President Zuma understood the severity of the situation he was in, Ramaphosa responded in the affirmative.

 

“Yes, he does understand, and anyone who is president would understand the challenges and the severity of the situation…we will not want to disrespect President Zuma, not humiliate him but deal with the matter of his departure,” he said.

 

Ramaphosa said his campaigns for the ANC top job was pivoted around corruption not because it was so much of him wanting to get elected but because it was a national matter.

 

“Our state was captured by corrupt elements, by people who purported to be close to the president who have been doing really bad things by getting into State institutions,” said Ramaphosa. “We are going to take action against the people who acted wrongly against the people of the country…we allowed corruption to continue growing within the party, we have recognised that this is a problem, we have decided that we will root corruption out…once we knew the facts and the figures, we’ll began to stand on our two feet…the future is about taking action against the people who have been harming

the people.”

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