Opposition political parties have called on President Jacob Zuma to report corruption and its perpetrators or face charges of being aware of corruption and not reporting it himself.
The Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters made this call in separate statements following a comment made by Zuma on Friday.
Zuma‚ addressing an ANC supporters’ forum‚ said he was not a thief but knew those who were stealing.
“It’s like those who steal today – they say Zuma steals while they are the worst thieves. They have investigated me all over but they are finding nothing because I’m not doing anything. If they have found anything‚ it would be over [for me]. Those are the thieves and I know they are stealing. I’m just watching them. I know them‚” Zuma said on Friday.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane said If Zuma was to be believed‚ he was enjoined by Section 34(1) and (2) of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act to report “those who are stealing” to the police.
“For President Zuma to hold onto this information for political reasons undermines the fight against corruption and it makes him an accessory to crime‚” Maimane said.
The EFF said apart from Zuma‚ South African Airways chairman Dudu Myeni also claimed on Wednesday she had knowledge of who was corrupt and stealing public funds.
“Our law is very clear that if you are aware of crime you must report it‚ including corruption. Thus‚ Jacob Zuma and Dudu Myeni must immediately report the persons who are stealing public funds.
“Otherwise‚ the EFF will lay charges against them for knowing of crime and not reporting it‚” EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement.
Ndlozi said the public pronouncements by Zuma and Myeni of criminality and not reporting it‚ further perpetuated distrust in the institutions of law and order.
“How can ordinary South Africans develop confidence in reporting crimes when a head of state publicly confesses to know of crimes and does not report them? This makes a culture out of not reporting crimes and in turn‚ promotes criminality‚” Ndlozi said.