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President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for the
arrest of local government officials who “put personal greed ahead of the
interest of our people”.He
was addressing the South African Local Government Association’s (Salga)
national members assembly, currently taking place in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.Ramaphosa
said officials involved in corruption should be arrested like those who were
recently arrested in KZN for their alleged involvement in political killings. “This
is encouraging. The same should be done to people who have put personal greed
ahead of the interest of our people. We must deal with them so that they must
become afraid to be arrested themselves. They must know that if they do wrong
things, they will be dealt with like we are dealing with the killers here in
the province,” said Ramaphosa.The
president also said perpetrators of political killings were afraid,
“that’s why the killings have come down.”With
the arrests that have been taking place, they are now afraid to continue with
their dastardly act. They now see that they are being made to account. They now
see that something is going to happen against them. Even those who wanted to
perpetrate these acts are now afraid to be arrested,” he said.Ramaphosa
told delegates that communities did not want to see government officials
“with their hands in our cookie jar”.”They
don’t want to see us misusing and wasting their resources. They want to see us
serving them with integrity, with dignity and without any form of corruption
against disasters’The
president acknowledged that people who lived in informal settlements were
subjected to “pain and anguish” whenever there were disasters caused
by fire and floods.He
said Salga needed to come up with innovative ideas on how to be more prepared
“so that the suffering that our people are subjected to, wherever there
are floods and fires, does not really descend on them”.”Or
take out insurance. There are forever insurers who are prepared to insure a
particular disaster or event. This is something that can be looked at so that
whenever such disasters happen, like it did happen recently in Alexandra in
Gauteng. Our local government or whatever facility that could be set up acts
immediately,” he advised.KZN
premier Willies Mchunu also sang Ramaphosa’s praises for the recent arrests in
connection with political killings in the province.’Consequences
for perpetrators’Mchunu
said the Moerane Commission into the killings found that most of them took
place at local government level, where people were grappling for power to
control the municipalities’ finances.Mchunu
said there were no killings ahead of the upcoming national elections and warned
that the government should be wary of the next local government elections
because that’s where politically-motivated killings normally happen.Co-operative
Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize also said there was a
lull in political killings since the inter-ministerial committee Ramaphosa
established went to KZN.There
have been 40 deaths in the past six years, Mkhize said.”The
arrests have made it clear that there should be consequences for those who
perpetrate such crime,” he said.SOURCE: NEWS24


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