Ladies and gentlemen, if I may very briefly share with you the take-away in conclusion. FW de Klerk gave me two. The one is there is nothing wrong with the Constitution. If the chefs ruin the meal, don’t blame the recipe, and Thuli made the same point. Secondly, that he is cautiously optimistic and supportive of what Cyril Ramaphosa is trying to do.
Haroon Bhorat, I think, gave a very extensive overview of the structure and the nature of state capture and corruption. I think most of us learnt a lot. Actually, I don’t like reading too much, but I would like to read the Report. State capture is systematically planned and diabolical. He showed it very clearly.
Thuli Madonsela made a few very strong points. She went as far as to say we need more than a Constitution, we need more than institutions, we need more than leadership… We need all those things, but we also need people democracy. I think that was a very, very strong point. Finally, she said that ordinary South Africans must stand up and lead. Also on this question of corruption – and someone asked me this morning what would I see as the success of the conference, and that’s exactly one the things I would have said. When we leave here as individuals, say I’m going to fight corruption, I’m going to stand up against it – but not commit it in the small things, like going over a red light or paying that R50 to the traffic cop.
Frans, a good story. I would agree with him. I’ve often said that, but I think the good story dwindledout, as he said, towards 2009. Now a new economic recovery is paramount. I think that is very, very important. Other reforms that he mentioned were economic reform, the youth’s scepticism and education.
So overall for me, five take-aways. The one is how do we get beyond state capture and corruption? Although it wasn’t mentioned often, I think it is true and realistic that the Zondo Commission will make a contribution. It will take a bit of time, it won’t be quick. Perhaps if they do it in phases, they’ll make a contribution faster than we think. I think Zondo is important.
Secondly, political action by Cyril Ramaphosa – whether he is President of the country or president of the ANC – in starting a clean-up process. With a clean-up process I mean not just sort of looking at Shaun and saying “I think there is still a lot of good work, hard work to be done around the Constitution.” Shaun, you better do your job otherwise you will get fired,but also literally making sure that people get replaced in the next number of months. That is the second one.
Thirdly, state capacity to be improved and that the institutions are better managed and governed. Not just the Chapter 9 institutions, but also our SOEs, because if our SOEs don’t come right, then economic recovery is just an illusion.
The fourth one is that prosecutions must be ongoing. Many of our speakers said today that unless the Hawks and others have the political will and the administrative will to take the testimony that they have, to take the facts, and to build cases, then I think we won’t get beyond the state capture and corruption.
And then fifth – something that initially I thought wow, how does this fit? That’s Frans’s point, that in a certainsense one of the more sustainable ways to make sure that we get beyond state capture and corruption is to start economic growth, inclusive growth, economic recovery and address the inequalities of our society. That would be a long-term, surefire way of making sure that we get beyond that. Then finally on a sort of personal note, Ialso gathered that the FW de Klerk Foundation cannot yet close its doors. I think there is still a lot of good work, hard work to be done around the Constitution. – closing remarks, Executive Director, Theuns Eloff
*This conference publication is a compendium of speeches and portions of the Q&A presented at the Foundation’s annual conference in 2018.