S AFRICA: Bishops call for Transparency in Public Appointments

JOHANNESBURG MARCH 18, 2016 (CISA) – The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference have asked for clarity in appointments of Ministers in the country.

“It is vital that high offices of State should not be compromised by the involvement of parties with commercial or personal interests,” the bishops said in a statement sent to Fides.

The clarification was sort Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas had revealed that he received an offer to become Minister of Finance by the Gupta family after the dismissal by President Jacob Zuma of the previous holder of the office, Nhlanhla Nene. Jonas rejected the offer and the office was entrusted to Des van Rooyen.

Other officials had also revealed interference of the powerful Gupta family, considered to be close to President Zuma, in the appointment of public offices, a fact underlined by the Bishops.

“Such interference seriously undermines transparent and accountable governance; it also betrays our people’s struggle for political and economic freedom, in South Africa,” said the bishops.

“The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference therefore calls upon President Jacob Zuma and the leadership of the African National Congress to demonstrate unambiguously that such alarming improprieties in the conduct of high government business will no longer be tolerated, we wish to stress that this is a matter of vital interest for the common good of all South Africans; it is not a question of party politics, in which, we as a church denomination, have no specific interest,” the statement said.

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