The president called for the ANC to return to one of its 2017 national conference resolutions where the party undertook to root out and isolate corrupt elements in both the public and private sector.
Johannesburg – President Cyril Ramaphosa has lamented how the ANC and its leaders were increasingly becoming implicated in allegations of corruption.
In a letter addressed to the party’s rank and file on Sunday, Ramaphosa said the governing party remained “Accused No1” when it came to corruption and that it now had to publicly disassociate itself from any member, business donor or anyone accused of corruption or reported to be involved in corruption, including the looting of Covid-19 relief funds which he said had created public anger and disillusionment with the party.
“This anger is understandable and justified. In recent weeks, we have heard stories of tenders for personal protective equipment that have been given to individuals associated with ANC leaders and of public servants flouting the law in issuing tenders,” Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphasa accused those implicated in the looting 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 called for the ANC to return to one of its 2017 national conference resolutions where the party undertook to root out and isolate corrupt elements in both the public and private sector.
Ramaphosa said the party had promised SA citizens that it would correct its ways ahead of the general elections last year but that corruption persisted.
“Despite the clear progress we have made since the election, we still have to give full effect to the promise we made. 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 No.1. This is the stark reality that we must now confront,” he said.
Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko remains on a leave of absence from her job, over a multimillion questionable tender secured by her husband in the Gauteng health department for PPEs, which has seen MEC Bandile Masuku being ordered to also step aside while the probe is underway.
In the seven-page long letter, Ramaphosa said the public had seen how organisational processes and principles had been corrupted for personal gain, accompanied by 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 in 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 further lamented that the ANC would not succeed in winning back the confidence of the public and insulate itself from reputational damage if it allowed people who were charged for corruption to occupy positions of responsibility both in government and the party.
“Every cadre accused of, or reported to be involved in, corrupt practices must account to the Integrity Commission immediately or face disciplinary processes. People who fail to give an acceptable explanation or to voluntarily step down while they face disciplinary, investigative or prosecutorial procedures, should be summarily suspended.
“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.