If we had sufficient legislation in place: all the corruption that has happened could have been prevented. The Political Party Funding Bill, State Capture Inquiry, SARS Commission of Inquiry, VBS bank heist and Vincent Smith are our top political stories for this year.
Political Party Funding Bill
The Political Party Bill was passed in Parliament in July this year and it aims to control corruption and promote transparency and financial regulation through the disclosure of political parties’ private donations. As voters, we have a Constitutional right to know who is funding political parties. By not having this information disclosed we are therefore denied of this right. This was resonated by Chief Justice Mogoeng when he ruled in our favour and concluded that the Promotion of Access to Information Act does not provide for the disclosure of political parties and independent candidates’ private donor information. In a press statement released by the Presidency on 15 November 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed that he is in the final stages of signing Bills that have been passed by Parliament.
State Capture Inquiry
The Commission for Inquiry into State Capture follows a report that was released by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in 2016. The report led to the investigations into all allegations of state capture and fraud in public sectors. The inquiry was intended to investigate whether former President Jacob Zuma, Gupta family and government ministers were involved in giving unlawful tenders to the Gupta family. The first witnesses to testify were the former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas and former MP Vytjie Mentor following allegations made against them that they were offered cabinet positions by the Gupta family. Ajay Gupta denied that he offered Jonas the position but he affirmed that they used to meet with ministers at the presidential office. Many more testimonies have been brought forward and the state capture inquiry is still continuing with many more dubious dealings coming to light.
The VBS bank heist became the biggest in South African history. The South African Revenue Bank conducted a full audit investigation between April and May 2018. The findings was published in a 148-paged report. It was found that about 53 people received an amount of R1.8 billion illegally from the bank and R1.5 billion was looted by its own management. R1.2 billion was invested illegally by eight municipalities. The investigation was prompted after the bank failed to pay depositors their money.
The EFF and ANC made headlines with their connections to the VBS Bank.
Zimbabwe’s 2018 Elections
Zimbabwe’s July 2018 general elections became one of the most contentious elections after 30 years of Robert Mugabe’s presidency. However, just when everyone around the world was hoping for change in the economically strained country, the election results were challenged by the losing opposition, MDC-Alliance. The matter went as far as the Constitutional Court where they found that ZANU-PF led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa had won the election and declared him President.
Violence ensued and former South African President, Kgalema Motlanthe is currently heading up a Commission of Inquiry into the post-election violence that had claimed six lives.
Cameroon’s 2018 Elections
Cameroon’s controversial October elections saw President Paul Biya win his seventh term as president after 36 years in power. People protested before the actual results were announced and claimed that Biya and his Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) had stolen victory from Maurice Kamto of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement Party (CRMP).
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