SA not dysfunctional, says Chabane
March 17, 2011
Government has slammed a constitutional watchdog for claiming the country is on the brink of becoming a dysfunctional state
Collins Chabane, Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation based at the Presidency, told journalists in Cape Town yesterday that the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution's intentions were not about building democracy.
Casac is a civil society watchdog body chaired by Sipho Pityana and has "progressive people" such as former ANC MP Kader Asmal and former national assembly speaker Frene Ginwala as members and advisers.
Former national director of public prosecutions Vusi Pikoli is also a member.
On Wednesday, Pityana said corruption and patronage were so pervasive in the country that "we are on the verge of being deemed a dysfunctional state".
He urged government to establish a new state-funded statutory body to fight corruption.
But Chabane said government rejected any insinuations that the country is nearing becoming a dysfunctional state.
"Government believes that Casac's intentions are not that of trying to build a democracy we all live by," Chabane said.
He said while government was prepared to discuss the issue of corruption with Casac, Pityana's "rhetoric" was not helpful.
He went on to say that Pityana's "emotive language" did little to take forward the debate on how government should be tackling corruption.
Chabane pointed out that in the last two years, the Zuma administration has "reinvigorated its efforts to deal more effectively with corruption".
He cited the finance ministry's overhaul of government's procurement systems and the establishment of a ministerial committee on corruption as some of the steps being taken to fight corruption.
Pityana last night stood his ground, saying steps pursued by Zuma's cabinet did not go far enough in tackling corruption.
Pityana said several anti-corruption laws, like the Protected Disclosures Act, also needed to be tightened.