Sisulu offers context as world powers urge Ramaphosa: Lock them up!

EDINBURGH — Powerful, rich countries have urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to do something to get the prosecuting authorities moving on getting corrupt business players and their political accomplices behind bars – or South Africa can expect foreign investors to go elsewhere. This stark warning was delivered to Ramaphosa behind the backs of the team at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation. International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu is engaging with ambassadors from the UK, US, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland to reassure them that the ANC government under Ramaphosa is committed to cleaning up corruption. In the meantime, the corrupt and the captured can start contemplating the very real possibility that they will do time for their dirty deeds. Ramaphosa has said that the country is now on a path of renewal and the new head of the National Prosecuting Authority moved into her office on Friday. – Jackie Cameron

By Ana Monteiro and Renee Bonorchis

(Bloomberg) – South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation expressed “disappointment” with five embassies for telling President Cyril Ramaphosa that foreign investment is at risk because of the country’s failure to prosecute people for government corruption.

The decision by the US, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland not to communicate through the department and instead send a memorandum to the presidency is a “departure from diplomatic practice,” the department said in a statement on the government’s website Sunday. International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu plans to meet the ambassadors to discuss protocol and the countries’ concerns, it said.

The Sunday Times newspaper reported that the five countries, which collectively account for about three-quarters of South Africa’s foreign direct investment, wrote a memo to Ramaphosa, stating they’re concerned about South Africa’s frequent changes in policies in industries including mining and the protection of intellectual property rights.

South Africa began an inquiry into state corruption last year after Ramaphosa became president and promised to root out graft. He also pledged to raise $100bn in investment to boost a sluggish economy and boost employment. While many people have been named in the corruption probe, there have been no arrests.


Five Countries Push S. Africa to Speed Up Prosecutions, ST Says

By Renee Bonorchis

(Bloomberg) – Five countries, including the US and the UK, have written to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to warn that foreign investment is at risk because of the country’s failure to prosecute people for government corruption, the Sunday Times reported, citing the memorandum.

The five governments, which also include Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, are also concerned about South Africa’s frequent changes in policies in industries including mining and the protection of intellectual property rights, according to the Johannesburg-based newspaper. A spokeswoman for the South African presidency confirmed receipt of the memo, the Sunday Times said.

South Africa began an inquiry into state corruption last year after Ramaphosa became president and promised to root out graft. He also pledged to raise $100bn in investment to boost a sluggish economy and improve unemployment. While many people have been named in the corruption probe, there have been no arrests.