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All eyes on ANC integrity unit

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Integrity Commission is being watched closely to see how it deals with top leaders who have corruption allegations hanging over them

President Cyril Ramaphosa has already raised his hand to face the music over his CR17 presidential campaign. Picture: EPA-EFE, Stringer

AMID intensifying internal factional battles and the 2017 election campaign being at the centre of the storm, those who lead the ANC’s Integrity Commission (IC) have been left with no choice but to prove that the structure is still relevant and not feeble.

The commission is being watched closely to see how it will muscle in top leaders who have corruption allegations hanging over them.

This comes as the party’s national executive committee (NEC) has reiterated its stance that all those accused of malfeasance should subject themselves before the IC.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has already raised his hand to face the music over his CR17 presidential campaign after facing mounting pressure to do so, and it is believed that on Sunday he dared others to play open cards and declare their financial interests.

Reports also emerged at the weekend that senior NEC member Tony Yengeni had asked Ramaphosa to step down.

Several others have since supported the motion for Ramaphosa to resign. But some have vowed to push back on calls for the ANC leader to walk the plank.

ANC provincial secretary in Limpopo Soviet Lekganyane came out in support of Ramaphosa and warned against moves to oust him.

Speaking at the funeral of MK veteran David Malada at the weekend, Lekganyane said they would thwart moves to remove Ramaphosa.

“We must be ready and it must be known that the fightback will not get off the ground,” he said.

Meanwhile, as the NEC meeting was expected to wrap up on Sunday, it is yet unclear how the IC’s processes will unfold or when it is set to begin.

However, what has been clear is that the battle lines have been drawn as factional rifts heat up over who should be hauled over the coals for their part in corruption – particularly over the looting of Covid-19 relief funds.

On the other hand, some experts believe that the IC is all talk and no bite.

“The commission always makes pronouncements and recommendations but the current leadership ignores those calls. For example, the commission recommended that the Deputy Minister (of Finance) David Masondo step aside but the ANC leadership just ignored that recommendation instead of following it up and ensuring that it is implemented,” political commentator Xolani Dube said.

He added that the IC was toothless and that the expected appearance of top leaders before it was unlikely to result in removals of people from their posts.

Last week, Ramaphosa penned a seven-page letter to ANC members in which he said the ANC was in the dock as “Accused No 1” in relation to corruption allegations.

The letter has, however, resulted in factional tension within the party as it earned him condemnation from his detractors, including former president Jacob Zuma.