Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Economic Development.

Ebrahim Patel is a South African Cabinet Minister who holds the position of Minister of Economic Development. He was born in 1962 in District Six in Cape Town.

The Minister has called for legislation to be passed to allow ministers’ bank accounts to be scrutinised and inspected  in an attempt to crack down on corruption and financial irregularities amongst top government officials and Ministers.

His cabinet colleague Blade Nzimande backed him up.  Mr Nzimande said state capture by “parasites” threatened democracy Nation wide.

During the South African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (Sactwu) congress at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Thursday‚ Patel said it was important that government addressed “high levels of corruption in our ranks” and proposed lifestyle audits and regulation of party political funding as a means to do this.

He said if officials appeared to be driving fancy cars and going on expensive holidays abroad‚ they should be asked‚ “my dear comrade‚ where did you get this money?“

He said the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (Fica) should be passed so that banks “look carefully at the financial transactions of prominent public figures like cabinet ministers to make sure that Ebrahim Patel‚ and all of us‚ can properly account for every cent that lands in our bank account“.

The Fica bill was passed by Parliament earlier this year but has yet to be signed into law by President Jacob Zuma.

Nzimande said that the looting of state owned companies had the potential to destroy democracy and the country at large.

“We must defend institutions that are crucial to our democracy and our state owned companies are very important — Transnet‚ Eskom‚ many others‚ including the SABC which is being run down by people who have no capacity to run the SABC‚” said Nzimande.

He said he was not referring to the workers at the state broadcaster‚ who were not “responsible for the mess up at the SABC“.

He called those responsible for looting of state owned companies the “parasitic bourgeoisie” and warned “if we allow parasites to steal our state owned companies‚ our democracy is dead. Workers have to stand up and say‚ ‘No‚ our state owned companies are not for looting’.”

He said people had asked why he stood up against the Guptas and he said they had long been fighting against them.

“We don’t want white minority capital. Or minority capital even if it’s black. We will fight monopoly capital as we fight the Guptas as well,” he concluded.