AFRICA/SOUTH AFRICA - Justice and Peace: "the clash between the Minister of Finance and President causes damage to the poor"

Friday, 21 October 2016 politics   bishops   economy  

Johannesburg (Agenzia Fides) - "The poor must not become victims of battles within the ruling party". This is the meaning of the message signed by His Exc. Mgr. Abel Gabuza, Bishop of Kimberley and President of the Episcopal Justice and Peace Commission of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference, after the new charges filed against the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, according to whom, favored the early retirement of a high official. Gordhan is already being investigated by the Special Investigation Department called "Hawks" (see Fides 26/8/2016).
Gordhan in turn accuses President Jacob Zuma of being in collusion with the powerful family of businessmen of Indian origin Gupta (see Fides 18/03/2016). Gordhan has also initiated a process of revision of state finances to address the nodes of corruption and poor management of public funds.
"We have taken note of the charges laid against the finance minister" writes Mgr. Gabuza, but stresses that "the fierce factional battles within the ruling party, as well as the use of state institutions to fight such factional battles, are not in the interest of the poorest of the poor".
"While our Country is struggling economically, the poor who voted our political leaders into power are expecting high levels of ethical leadership. This includes taking visible steps to address the systemic issues behind the situation of the government at war with itself".
"While nobody is above the law, we continue to support Mr. Gordhan and the treasury in their efforts to reform the treasury and state owned enterprises in the interests of clean governance", he concludes. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 21/10/2016)