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Support integrity fund against state capture, says Shell boss

Bonang Mohale. Picture: BUSINESS DAY

12 JUNE 2017 – 07:48 CLAUDI MAILOVICH 

Bonang Mohale, chairman of Shell SA and deputy chairman of Business Leadership SA, has called on business to invest in an integrity fund that would support activities to put the country on a different path.

Mohale made the call while presenting the chairman’s report at the Directors Event in Sandton on Friday. His appeal came amid mounting allegations about state capture involving President Jacob Zuma, his son Duduzane, the Gupta family and other prominent people.

Mohale told business leaders the Constitution was under attack and SA’s democratic values and even the country’s sovereignty were at risk.

He said it was now their core business to defend the Constitution and fight the scourge of state capture. Mohale said they would set up the integrity fund and ensure that it was operated transparently, but business would have to fund it, “because the people we are opposing have very deep pockets and they got it for nothing”.

“So rebuilding our state, particularly against a determined opposition such as the Guptas is a massive task. This is the best investment we can make together. Otherwise, we might as well just pack up.”

The plan he proposed included the establishment of a judicial commission of inquiry, the investigation of revelations in the leaked Gupta e-mails and prosecutions.

The nuclear power-generation programme should be shelved and there had to be a moratorium on all other nuclear procurement for at least two years, he said. The public sector should also be professionalised, regularised and depoliticised.

Mohale said best-practice procurement policy should be adopted throughout government and the independence, capacity and capability of critical justice institutions should be restored.

The National Prosecuting Authority, police and the Hawks urgently needed new leadership. Party political funding should also be transparent.

The intervention sought to protect a constitutional order and was not aimed at supporting or opposing any party or faction, Mohale said. The goal was to strengthen institutions, and not to advance their own interests.

“Forces of state capture are eroding our country and imperilling our future,” Mohale said. “As a result, our state has lost credibility and legitimacy in the eyes of ordinary people and experts alike … we are at a tipping point.”

Mcebisi Jonas, former deputy minister of finance, said he believed the right people would take power at the ANC’s elective conference in December. “And if it doesn’t [happen] the country is facing huge challenges.”

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