Corrupted officials deep in the muck – an irony to Durban arrests

Spent an hour and a half in a conference call yesterday with some heavy hitting UK investors interested in understanding what last week’s election results means for South Africa. Discussions like this help to put things into perspective. Forced to reflect, it’s astonishing how far the country has come since December 2017.

Cynics won’t be stilled, however, until they see prosecutions. Despite repeated promises by president Cyril Ramaphosa, they won’t believe it until jails start to overflow. Only then, it seems, will they believe what Ramaphosa said soon after taking over leadership of the ANC: that his priorities are rooting out corruption and establishing policy certainty.

The ball is starting to roll. On Monday, the newly emboldened Hawks announced nine arrests relating to a R208m tender awarded by eThekwini Municipality. Included in the soon-to-be-orange-bedecked was a very big fish, the metro’s incumbent mayor, Zandile Gumede, who turned herself into the Hawks to avoid arrest.

The corrupt tender, ironically, was for Durban’s solid waste. Previously untouchable Gumede, a staunch ally of former president Jacob Zuma, has sure landed in the stuff, hasn’t she?