S. Africa risks collapsing from systematic siphoning of State assets, churches warn

(REUTERS/ Stefani Loos)South African President Jacob Zuma speaks to media.

The South African Council of Churches has warned that the country risks collapsing if the ruling African National Congress does not act on the "systematic siphoning of State assets pivoted around President Jacob Zuma."

"The country is going to collapse. It is difficult to rebuild once you go into lawlessness," SACC general secretary, Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana said May 17.

The churches' council launched an "Unburdening Panel" report that put together allegations of corruption amounting to billions in the local rand currency, News24 reported.

"We urge the ANC, as the governing party, to examine itself and mend the ways of government, before we reach the point of no return - for this has implications for the ANC in government, for its leadership and members," said Mpumlwana, who along with Steve Biko was one of the founders of the black consciousness movement in the 1970s.

The launch was attended by scores of high-profile individuals, including former finance minister Pravin Gordhan; former head of the crack police unit the Hawks, Anwa Dramat; former cabinet spokesperson Themba Maseko, and former South African Revenue Service's deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay.

All the officials pushed out of office for deeds aimed at combatting government excesses.

The SACC began compiling its report after a failed ANC probe into allegations of "State capture" by a family from India close to President Jacob Zuma.

It was triggered by former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas' allegations that the Gupta family had offered him 600 million rands ($45 million) to take up the finance minister post, and Vytjie Mentor, who alleged that the family offered her the public enterprises post if she would drop the SAA flight route to India in 2016.

The SACC is an ecumenical body representing a wide range of Christianity in South Africa including different Protestant traditions, the country's Roman Catholic bishops, Othothodox, Pentecostals and Evangelicals.

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