SA trade unions to protest state capture


South Africa’s Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is set to call a national strike to protest against state capture.

The trade union federation said the strike was aimed at pushing President Jacob Zuma to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry to probe state capture‚ as recommended by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

Cosatu’s calls follow a backlash against the rich Gupta family for their alleged role in state capture and after British PR firm Bell Pottinger were implicated in the controversial family’s dealings in South Africa.

“This perilous situation must be addressed forthwith by mobilising against this predatory elite and pushing for processes that will ultimately dismantle their network‚” Cosatu said in a statement.

Doing business

The federation also wants all state entities to shun doing business with the Guptas family, and also cancel all commercial dealings with them. The Indian family allegedly benefited immensely, winning numerous government tenders, because of their close connection with President Zuma.

“There must be a process to identify all those involved in state capture and they also need to be similarly blacklisted. The Asset Forfeiture Unit must seize the assets of the Guptas if the probe proves that they were not legitimately secured.

“All contracts which have been entered into with the Guptas‚ including mining licences‚ tenders‚ subsidies or other exercise of public power such as citizenships should be urgently reviewed by the Auditor-General for irregularities‚ in order to develop a financial claim for monies corruptly secured,” further read the statement.

Be suspended

The federation said it would push to have the money recovered from those involved in state capture redirected towards improving the plight of workers and the poor.

“We also demand an investigation of the recent spate of Gupta related emails and all those implicated in them have to be suspended.”

The labour organisation added that government ministers who are implicated in alleged state capture activities must be urgently investigated and if no proper public explanation for their actions is acceptable, they must be charged.

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