Fight corruption: wear an orange mask on Fridays (and don't dance on Heritage Day)

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and 62 other organisations are asking South Africans to wear orange masks and ignore the call to dance on Heritage Day to show their anger at the rampant corruption in the country.
The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and 62 other organisations are asking South Africans to wear orange masks and ignore the call to dance on Heritage Day to show their anger at the rampant corruption in the country.
Image: Kathrada Foundation/Twitter

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation is taking a stand against Covid-19 corruption and has urged SA to show solidarity by wearing orange face masks on Friday.

Over the past few months, Covid-19 corruption has been making headlines, mainly focusing on a personal protective equipment (PPE) scandal.

Why orange masks?

The foundation, in collaboration with 62 other organisations including Corruption Watch, has called on South Africans to demonstrate their anger about Covid-19 corruption by donning orange masks every Friday until December 9, which is marked as International Anti-Corruption Day.

According to the organisation, the colour symbolises the orange overalls Covid-19 looters should be wearing in prison.

“The Orange Mask Fridays campaign forms part of a broad societal effort to stop Covid-19 corruption. The campaign is being driven by civil society organisations in response to widespread reports of looting of funds meant to address the coronavirus,” said the foundation.

Effective action

By wearing orange masks, the foundation said, people will effectively be telling the government and the private sector that they value SA's democracy and constitution.

“We refuse to sit by idly watching as greedy business ‘covidpreneurs’, politicians and public servants steal money that is meant to save lives during the pandemic,” the foundation said. “We will not allow front-line health workers to be put in danger because someone has stolen money or inflated prices for PPE. We will not allow food parcels meant for the poor to be used as bargaining chips to secure local fiefdoms.”

No dancing

The foundation also indirectly opposed President Cyril Ramaphosa's call for South Africans to take part in the Jerusalema dance challenge on Thursday, saying it will not celebrate a “growing culture of corruption that is becoming endemic within the public and private sector”.

Last week, Ramaphosa called for SA to take up the global dance challenge on Heritage Day.

“For the vast majority of people in this country, who are not corrupt, we will wear our orange masks as a rejection of corruption, and we will highlight how this scourge undermines the development of our country.

“During Heritage weekend, we urge the public to initiate action within the necessary safety and health standards at their workplaces, religious institutes, neighbourhoods and organisations.”

Latest on PPE investigation

Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku, who is one of the officials implicated in allegations regarding a PPE tender scandal, is planning a fightback against adverse findings made against him by the ANC's provincial integrity commission (PIC).

This after it investigated his conduct concerning Covid-19 PPE procurement by his department.

TimesLIVE reported that Masuku wrote to the chairperson of the ANC Gauteng PIC, Trevor Fowler, disputing some of the findings made against him.

Masuku, his MMC wife Loyiso Masuku, and presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko were placed on leave while the investigation into the PPE saga takes over revelations of alleged dodgy tenders awarded to Royal Bhaca, a company owned by Diko's husband, Thandisizwe Diko.


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