Factions within ANC prevent dealing with corruption: Mkhize

FILE PHOTO: ANC president Jacob Zuma, deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize.
FILE PHOTO: ANC president Jacob Zuma, deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize.

ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize has blamed factionalism within the ruling party for hampering the battle against corruption.

"Unity does not stop you from being able to deal with corruption‚ but factions make it impossible to deal with corruption because everyone has a defence. If you are being investigated for corrupt activity‚ people think it's easier to use a factional label to protect yourself … so we need to unite against corruption‚" said Mkhize.

He was speaking to journalists on Wednesday evening during a question and answer session at the Hilton Hotel in Johannesburg.

"The issue of corruption is very important because what you need is to be able to create an image of clean governance‚ where we are able to fight effectively and fiercely with corruption ... you have to start with the whole issue of ethical leadership‚ which is an issue that we need to preach within the organisation‚" he said.

Mkhize said the party's failure to deal with corruption was a result of a loophole that accused individuals used every time they were summoned to the Integrity Commission.

"We are going to conference and what we need to work on is the mechanisms that will empower leadership to be able to act in the event someone has been found to have been involved in an allegation that brings the ANC into disrepute‚" said Mkhize‚ who is vying to succeed President Jacob Zuma next month at the ANC's elective conference.

"We set up an Integrity Commission and‚ when we did that‚ we did not anticipate the debate that came around the problems of individuals who would argue that the accusation is false‚ who would argue that the matter would be proven in court; and that the matter that has been raised is a smear."

The ANC Integrity Commission was formed in 2013 to protect the image of the party when members have been accused of criminal or improper conduct.

Many of the allegations of corruption have recently stemmed from a slew of leaked emails linked to Zuma's friends - the Gupta family - who have been accused of using their influence to secure lucrative state contracts for their companies. Both the president and the Guptas have denied allegations of wrongdoing.

Zuma‚ who has stalled the appointment of a judicial commission of inquiry‚ has been accused in veteran investigative journalist Jacques Pauw's book The President's Keepers of avoiding the taxman in his first five years in office‚ amongst many other corruption allegations.

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