SA’s state-owned companies had been “captured”: Ramaphosa

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, a leading contender to become head of the ruling ANC in December, stepped up his criticism of the government on Sunday, saying state-owned companies had been “captured” and funds looted from them.

Ramaphosa’s remarks during a speech to an African National Congress meeting in the old diamond-mining town of Kimberley were tougher than others he has made on government graft, signaling the issue will be a main theme of his campaign.

He also took aim — without naming them – at the wealthy Gupta family, friends of President Jacob Zuma who have been accused of using undue influence to win lucrative state contracts. Zuma and the Guptas have denied any wrongdoing.

“Many of these state-owned enterprises have been captured by certain people, by a certain family,” Ramaphosa said.

“All of our state-owned enterprises have been captured and we are saying we want to see an end to state capture and the money that has been stolen, we want it back,” he said, to roars of approval from the audience.

South Africa’s top prosecutor said on Wednesday police were examining a trove of leaked documents detailing relations between the Guptas and Zuma, but it was too early to say if a prosecution should be launched.

Ramaphosa said in May that South Africa was in danger of becoming a “mafia state” and he took a swipe in July at the Guptas over media reports that state funds were diverted in 2013 to pay for a lavish Gupta family wedding.

But Sunday’s remarks about a “certain family” were more pointed and come as the race heats up for the ANC’s top spot. The next head of the party, who will be selected in December, will be its presidential candidate in 2019 national elections.

Ramaphosa’s main challenger, veteran politician and Zuma’s ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, will next week be sworn in as a member of parliament, a move which could see the former minister brought back into the cabinet, raising her profile.

Analysts say she has the backing of Zuma’s well-established patronage network as well as organisations such as the party’s Women’s League.

Ramaphosa is a trade unionist-turned-business tycoon who has the backing of a diverse group of unions, communists and investors who do not always see eye to eye but want to rid the ANC of Zuma’s influence and legacy.

The opposition has long accused Zuma of sleaze and influence-peddling while in office. He survived a no-confidence vote in parliament on Aug. 8 but 30 ANC lawmakers voted with the opposition, indicating deep divisions in the party that has dominated South African politics since the end of apartheid in 1994.

Related Content

COVID-19: Most of SA to move to level 3 lockdown by end of May

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa in an address to the nation on Wednesday evening said the country is preparing for a further easing and gradual reopening of the economy.

Here’s how to apply for SA’s COVID-19 loan guarantee scheme

A multi-billion rand loan guarantee scheme announced by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa last month is now officially in operation, with the assistance of the country’s major banks, including FNB, Investec, Standard Bank and Absa.

Op-Ed: South African businesses call for urgent end to lockdown

Op-Ed: South African businesses call for urgent end to lockdown

Op-Ed: Counting the economic cost of South Africa’s lockdown

“I am concerned that our government’s lockdown approach and the subsequent economic hardship inflicted on our people will cost more lives than it can save,” writes Andrew Lapping, Chief Investment Officer at Allan Gray.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

More from CNBC Africa

Cannon Asset Managers CEO on how to position your portfolio for a depression

In 2006, little known economics professor Nouriel Roubini warned that the US housing market was at risk of collapsing. Fast forward two years and it did, triggering the global financial crisis. Roubini, now known is Dr Doom is forecasting another economic depression, contradicting the consensus view the recovery from Covid-19 will be V-shaped. Dr Adrian Saville, CEO of Cannon Asset Managers joins CNBC Africa for more.

How Covid-19 is driving demand for internet services

With students working from home, companies across industries forced to move online and video conferencing services being more utilized now than ever; broadband, WiFi and mobile data capacity seems to be getting tested like never before. So can internet service providers stand up to the test? Robert Nkeramugaba, Senior Network Operations Manager, BSC joins CNBC Africa for more.

Uganda moves to phased reopening amid rising of COVID-19 cases

In Uganda, according to president Yoweri Museveni, the country will go ahead with its plan to re-open the country despite recording more than 150 Covid-19 cases in three days. Moreover, European Union gives Uganda about $198 million to fund coronavirus response. CNBC Africa spoke to Qatahar Raymond Mujuni, a journalist for more.

Nigerian Equities Wrap: Market momentum wanes

The consumer goods index of the Nigerian Stock Exchange was among the top-performing indices in May. Onyeka Ijeoma, Analyst at Vetiva joins CNBC Africa to discuss what to expect from the equities market this week....

Partner Content

Sanlam Emerging Markets and its partners on the African continent invest over $12 million to fight COVID-19

As we go through this global pandemic together, it is the little things we miss. A high five, a handshake, a walk...

VIVO CEO is a dynamic leader for this innovative global brand

May 2020 -- Six months ago the vision for vivo in South Africa was just beginning to...

Trending Now

When a barrel of oil was cheaper than your coffee | CNBC International

Demand for oil has fallen to unprecedented levels, resulting in oil prices turning negative for the first time in history. From the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia to the pandemic, CNBC’s Nessa Anwar explores what this might mean for the commodity in the long-term. ----- Subscribe to us on YouTube: http://cnb.cx/2wuoARM Subscribe to CNBC International TV on YouTube: https://cnb.cx/2NGytpz Like our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cnbcinternational Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cnbcinternational/ Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CNBCi...

COVID-19: Reopening aviation in South Africa

South Africa’s aviation sector partially reopened from Covid-19 lock-down’s this week, with the resumption of domestic business travel being allowed to take off. To understand what steps have been taken to maximise passenger safety at the country’s airports we speak with Refentse Shinners, Group Executive of Corporate affairs at the Airports Company of South Africa.

What It’s Like To Be A Professional Amazon Reviewer

Sean Cannell makes tens of thousands of dollars a month as a professional Amazon reviewer. As part of the Amazon Affiliate program, Cannell reviews camera gear on his Think Media YouTube channel and makes a cut of every sale those reviews generates o

Rebuilding South Africa’s construction sector

The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with South Africa’s slowing economy has created a double setback for the construction industry. That’s according to financial services group Old Mutual. Last month construction firms, Group Five and Esor, both in business rescue announced that they would be delisting from the JSE. Today, WBHO warned annual profits would plunge 150 per cent, reflecting the impact of the Covid-19 lock-downs. Ian Woodley, Analyst: Old Mutual Equities and Arthur Karas, Portfolio Manager: Old Mutual Investment Group Macro Solutions join CNBC Africa for more.
- Advertisement -