The Green Party of South Africa (GPSA) said that there are sufficient grounds for high treason charges against key figures and groups that facilitated State Capture in South Africa.
The GPSA said that all individuals or groups implicated in State Capture should be charged – including current or previous ministers, Presidents, state-owned enterprise personnel as well as other perpetrators outside of government.
It becomes clear that former President Jacob Zuma should be a key person charged for treason against the South African people. Zuma is however not the only traitor of South Africans’ trust – a wide network of participants from the governing ANC and elsewhere enabled collusion against the South African population. Even individuals from Julius Malema’s EFF reportedly committed such treason by looting funds that thousands of South Africans entrusted to government institutions, as revealed in the VBS scandal.
The GPSA said that the State should bring the high treason charges on behalf of the South African people only if it can be shown that the process will be fair and independent. Otherwise, private prosecution should be considered.
In South Africa, the crime of high treason includes (amongst others) unlawful conduct with the intention of changing the constitutional structure, threatening the independence or overthrowing the government of the Republic.
Overthrowing the government of the Republic
State Capture amounts to a “silent coup” of the South African government. This alone is sufficient grounds for bringing high treason charges. Through State Capture, the true decision-makers were not democratically elected people, as required by the Constitution. This is in all respects equivalent to the overthrow of the government of the Republic.
Threatening the country’s independence
State Capture implies that the democratically elected government of South Africa was not independent in its decision-making. In effect, government decisions were in many respects directed through collusion with entities outside of government. The independence of South Africa is not only threatened if other countries wish to control it. The country’s independence could equally be threatened by external entities that wish to direct government decisions through illegal and corrupt means.
By selling South Africa to the highest bidder, the people of South Africa were deprived of its sovereign right to democratically determine their government leaders, independent from outside forces. This provides further grounds for high treason charges.
Changing of the constitutional structure of the country
Unlawful action to change the constitutional structure of the country is grounds for high treason charges. The South African constitutional dispensation ensures separation of powers between the executive and legislative arms of government. Illegal interference by public representatives in legal processes and the courts, would bring harm to this fundamental constitutional structure of the country. In addition, any criminal action or collusion that undermines the constitution should form part of the high treason charges.
State Capture infringes on a cornerstone of our constitutional democracy, namely the supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law, says the Green Party of South Africa,
State Capture infringes on several aspects of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. This includes political rights and the right to human dignity. Although State Capture’s implications are much wider, the aspect of depriving South Africans, especially the poor, of crucial state resources, illustrates the fact that human dignity was impacted.