14/12/2017 06:12 SAST | Updated 14/12/2017 06:13 SAST

Pravin Gordhan: We Should Never Lose Hope

Pravin Gordhan says South Africa will emerge from the current crisis.

Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan.
Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan.

ANC MP and former finance minister Pravin Gordhan says that while the latest court ruling against President Jacob Zuma indicates that state capture is real, South Africans should not lose hope.

"Building a democracy takes time, these are one of the difficult times we are going through, the courts have demonstrated that there are institutions that work. We should never lose hope," Gordhan told talk show host Karima Brown on Wednesday night.

Appearing on the Karima Brown Show on Talk Radio 702, Gordhan said South Africa needed to protect its reputation from corruption.

A full bench of the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday ruled that Zuma's appeal of the recommendations of Thuli Madonsela's State of Capture report was without merit.

In a damning judgment, the court ruled that Madonsela was correct in recommending that Zuma could not appoint the judge to head a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture as he was compromised. Zuma has 30 days to set up the commission and Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng will appoint the chair of the commission.

"What we want in South Africa is to get out of this mire of being called the most corrupt nation in the world," he said.

"We want to regain hope in our society. We want to see prospects of prosperity for all our people, and in particular, job creation for all our people in an economic environment where we truly see no fundamental transformation of our economy," Gordhan said.

He said that the judicial commission of inquiry did not mean that nothing could be done about corruption until it is finished its work. He questioned why known instances of state capture at state-owned entities could not be stopped now, and said there was no need to wait for the commission to cancel dodgy contracts.

"The judicial commission of inquiry doesn't mean that we hang on to the current practices, do nothing about them, become paralysed because the commission is to be set up. The commission will play its part, it will deliver its report, the judgment today puts parameters around that... and at the same time, we have to prove that we are serious about corruption," Gordhan said.

Gordhan said that those found guilty of corruption, be it in the private or public sphere, should "pay the necessary price".