A church panel in South Africa has warned that corruption is fast turning the country into a mafia state.
Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana, the head of the influential South African Council of Churches (Sacoc), said President Jacob Zuma’s government had lost its moral legitimacy.
The Reuters news agency quotes him as saying:
We have come to recognise that South Africa may just be a few inches from the throes of a mafia state from which there may be no return, a recipe for a failed state.”
Sacoc has been carrying out a commission looking into corruption in the country and witnesses told commissioners that government officials around Mr Zuma had diverted budgets, rigged tender processes and tailored regulations to benefit a select few.
The church council said it would send its findings to the governing African National Congress.
Last year, a report by the country’s anti-corruption investigator found evidence of possible corruption at the top level of Mr Zuma’s government.
The president has launched a legal process to challenge the findings.