SACP, Cosatu call for action against ANC members charged with corruption
Johannesburg – As President Cyril Ramaphosa called for the removal of all those charged with malfeasance from the government and from party positions, ANC alliance partners say they expect more action against those found wanting.
Ramaphosa on Sunday penned a seven-page letter to the ANC’s rank and file in which he openly lamented the web of corruption bedevilling the party.
This comes as party leaders and members have also been implicated in Covid-19 relief funds graft.
In a frank admission, Ramaphosa said that while the ANC was not the only one embroiled in corruption scandals, it was “Accused No1”.
“Today, the ANC and its leaders stand accused of corruption. The ANC may not stand alone in the dock, but it does stand as Accused No1. This is the stark reality that we must now confront,” he said.
The ANC leader also said South Africans had witnessed the ANC’s organisational processes being corrupted for personal gain, along with deviant behaviour that went unchecked and which allowed criminal elements to flourish.
“Our lack of discipline and failure to deal with issues in our movement has eroded our organisational ethos and standing. Over the years, we have seen corruption in the state, in society and the ANC take several forms. Perhaps the best-known form of corruption is the award of tenders and other contracts to certain companies based on conflictual relations such as friendship or family connections,” he said.
He said the party had to move to insulate itself from reputational damage by removing those tainted by alleged criminality from positions of responsibility both in government and the party, adding that all those facing accusations had to be immediately subjected to disciplinary process of the party’s Integrity Commission.
“The ANC should publicly disassociate itself from anyone, whether business donor, supporter or member accused of corruption or reported to be involved in corruption,” Ramaphosa insisted.
SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo said the party welcomed Ramaphosa’s frank condemnation but pointed out that it was not enough.
“We welcome it but we view it as the start. We expect action. We want people being prosecuted and being sent to jail for their actions. We need to see their wealth being taken away and attached so that everyone can see that there are consequences,” Mashilo said.
He maintained that the recent wave of looting was proof enough that the tenderisation of the state was an enabler of corruption, as companies were being dubiously contracted as middlemen to supply what they were not producing at exorbitant prices.
Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the federation would discuss Ramaphosa’s letter with its affiliate unions during a central executive committee meeting today in Braamfontein.
The National Education, Health, and Allied Workers’ Union said it lamented the lack of action by the ANC-led government on the Covid-19 looting scandal.
Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko remains on a leave of absence from her job over a multimillion-rand questionable tender secured by her husband in the Gauteng Department of Health for personal protection equipment, which has seen Health MEC Bandile Masuku being ordered to also step aside while the investigation is under way.
Ramaphosa accused those implicated in the Covid-19 scandal of having exploited the grave medical, social and economic crisis imposed by the pandemic to enrich themselves.
“This is an unforgivable betrayal for the millions of South Africans who are being negatively affected by the impact of Covid-19, experiencing hunger daily, hopelessness and joblessness,” he said.
He further said the current public anger and disillusionment with the ANC over the plundering of public funds was both understandable and justified.