President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo by Elmond Jiyane/ GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged South Africans to reject crime and report it. In his Heritage Day message, Ramaphosa bemoaned public servants involved in corruption. He also reflected on the public violence that gripped parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. Crime is not part of the South African heritage, and acts of corruption, especially by public servants who have been entrusted with the welfare of the country’s citizens, should be rejected.
That was the message from President Cyril Ramaphosa marking Heritage Day celebrations on Friday.
In his message, Ramaphosa reflected on the public violence that devastated KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July, and spoke out against corruption.
The unrest was sparked by the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma for contempt of court.
READ | Ramaphosa: Law enforcement empowered to probe ‘unconscionable’ Covid-19 tender corruption
Zuma has since been released on medical parole after only spending two months of his 15-month sentence in jail.
We saw people destroying the very country we are trying to build. In the aftermath of the violence, we have had to ask ourselves: Who are we as a people? What is it that defines our national character? What is it that defines our identity? What is it that we stand for?
He urged South Africans to reflect on these important questions.
“As South Africans, we respect others and their rights and believe in the Constitution as the supreme law of the land.”
Ramaphosa called on South Africans to reject dishonourable conduct.
“We are not involved in crime and we report those who are. We do not engage in acts of corruption, especially as public servants or representatives who have been entrusted with the welfare of our beloved country’s citizens.”
In August, former health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize resigned when he was implicated in corruption by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).
ALSO READ | Mkhize’s resignation letter: ‘I am resigning to bring stability to health department’
The SIU claimed Mkhize and his family benefitted to the tune of R4 million from the unlawful Digital Vibes contract.
Ramaphosa also touched on the scourge of racism, adding one of our greatest tasks of the nation was to heal the divisions of the past.
“We will never be a truly united nation until we overcome the poverty, inequality and underdevelopment and unemployment that is still so prevalent in our communities. We can only do so if we work together.”