South Africa: Ace Magashule Claims Nothing in Law Stops Politicians' Families From Doing Business With Government - Not So Fast, Sg

analysis

Amid the public outrage at how Covid-19 personal protective equipment tenders benefited spouses, children and family members of government officials and politicians, ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule said nothing in law stops relatives clinching those profitable deals. He is wrong and here's why.

ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule in a series of interviews (for example, here: Ace Magashule on PPE procurement and corruption - Part 1 and here: WATCH | Show me one leader of the ANC who hasn't done business with the state - Ace Magashule) put across his view that no single law exists to prohibit relatives of politicians, including ANC leaders, in government from doing business with the state.

He is correct: a law, let's call it, Ban on Families of Politicians Doing Business with Government Act, does not exist.

But Magashule is fundamentally wrong in arguing that the absence of such a (hypothetical) Ban on Families of Politicians Doing Business with Government Act means it's okay to gain benefit from political connectivity.

Here's why.

What does the Constitution say on 'doing business'?

Magashule, to support his argument, uses the shorthand that politicians, including leaders of the governing ANC, have the same rights as all South...

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