Mantashe takes a swipe at rogue ANC officials

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has warned that the propensity for self-enrichment was the biggest challenge facing the ruling party in its quest to restore its image ahead of the local government elections.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has warned that the propensity for self-enrichment was the biggest challenge facing the ruling party in its quest to restore its image ahead of the local government elections.

Writing in the party's online publication, ANC Today, Mantashe said ANC cadres deployed in government, who saw their appointment to office as a vehicle to enrich themselves, were dragging the name of the movement through the mud.

"The biggest threat to our movement is the intersection between business interests and holding of public office.

"It is frightening to observe the speed with which the election to a position is seen to be the creation of an opportunity for wealth accumulation.

"Deployment to positions in local government should not be based on who can best facilitate opportunity for wealth accumulation for those in a position of power."

The ANC chief said failure to deal with the matter could spell a downward spiral for the ANC.

"Fighting corruption must be our preoccupation. The scale of corruption at local level is not at the same level as at both provincial and national level. The problem is that it is cruder.

"ANC councillors must be part of the network to fight corruption in all its forms and manifestations."

As parting shot former ANC president Thabo Mbeki warned delegates at the Polokwane conference in 2007 that ANC cadres saw their deployment to public offices as an opportunity to amass wealth.

Quoting the ANC discussion document "Through the Eye of the Needle", Mbeki said: "Because leadership in structures of the ANC affords opportunities to assume positions of authority in government, some individuals then compete for ANC leadership positions in order to get into government.

"Many such members view positions in government as a source of material riches for themselves.

"So resources, prestige and authority of government positions become the driving force in competition for leadership positions in the ANC."

He warned that the private sector was also playing a role in manipulating corruptible ANC cadres.

"Government positions go hand-in-hand with the possibility of issuing contracts and tenders to commercial companies.

"Some of these companies identify ANC members they can promote in ANC structures and into government, so that they can get contracts by hook or by crook."

Recently, the SACP called for a complete review of all state agencies in all three spheres of government, saying they were citadels of corruption.

"There has been a significant fragmentation of the state, with the proliferation of a myriad of agencies, regulators and parastatals, not just at the national but also sub-national levels.

"Many of these entities have been spun out of government departments," the SACP said.

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