“There is an African proverb that says a bull is caught by its horns and a human being by his words.”
President Jacob Zuma‚ the Congress of the People (Cope) said on Monday‚ “has been caught out” when “he inadvertently revealed to the nation that he knows those who are stealing the money”.
“How does one explain a President who knows who the criminals are and does not expose them to the proper authorities?” asked Cope’s Dennis Bloem.
He said Cope “calls upon the Hawks to question Zuma about his public confession that he knows those who are stealing the money of the country which is supposed to benefit the poor”.
Cope’s statement follows calls from the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) for Zuma to report corruption and its perpetrators or face charges of being aware of corruption and not reporting it himself.
The president had‚ addressing an ANC supporters’ forum‚ said: “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.”
Bloem said: “The nation must be fully aware that they have a friend of criminals as a president. They must also know that crime will never reduce when such a state of affairs prevails.”
“We have always said that Zuma has broken his oath of office and that he cannot be the president of this country. He has no respect for the rule of law. Every speech he makes simply confirms this about him.”
On Sunday‚ 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.