IOL 14 August 2019

Johannesburg – Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas has warned there will be no faith in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration and the criminal justice system if high-profile politicians and public servants who took part in state capture and corruption are not prosecuted and jailed.

Jonas has made these comments in his new book titled After Dawn – Hope after State Capture, which addresses a range of issues including ways of reviving the country’s ailing economy, inequalities, and protecting the state from plunder through political patronage.

“In a country where some say that as much as a third of public procurement has been siphoned off by the corrupt, no lower standard is acceptable. Until this happens, scepticism will exist over the state’s real intentions, and the belief that the corrupt are still governing will continue,” he said.

The government will also not break way from corruption, rent-seeking and state capture if political heads are still allowed to appoint bureaucrats in the public service, he pointed out.

Jonas maintained that if the country were to create a capable, legitimate state, it had to advocate for a meritocratic service where appointments are made based on rigorous recruitment, with selection underlined by ethics, morality and state-building.

“This is contrary to the existing practice where appointments are made by part grandee and are based more on extending political influence and patronage networks, than getting the job done.”

It had become popular under the ANC government to deride technocrats in the civil service when they displayed a high level of technical skills “when what was needed was political loyalty to the ruling party, he added.

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