Ramaphosa writes letter to ANC members over corruption

Ramaphosa writes letter to ANC members over corruption.
Ramaphosa writes letter to ANC members over corruption.
Image: PHILLIP NOTHNAGEL

The failure by the ANC to implement decisions taken at its conferences has allowed corruption to flourish in the country.

This is according to President Cyril Ramaphosa in a letter he sent to ANC members on Sunday.

Ramaphosa vowed to fulfill the promise he made when he campaigned for the party’s presidency ahead of the 54th national conference in 2017 to deal with and ultimately end corruption which has seemingly flourished under his watch.

He urged ANC members to have the “courage” and “honesty” to acknowledge that some of its leaders, public representatives and members have “on numerous occasions” been implicated in some form of corruption.

“To be quite clear, I am not suggesting that corruption is only a problem of our movement. Nor am I suggesting that corruption is widespread among our membership or leadership. In fact, I know that the overwhelming majority of ANC members and leaders strongly oppose corruption, patronage and all other forms of criminality,” Ramaphosa said.

“However, as a movement we have so far been unable to turn our organisational positions into actions that will end corruption once and for all. As a result, we have allowed corruption to continue and, at times, to flourish within our ranks.”

He said that he was writing to his "beloved" ANC members as the power to bring to an end corruption lied with them.

"It is you who chooses the leadership, who sets the policies and who implements the programmes of our organisation. It is you who lives in communities, who interacts daily with the front line of service delivery and who sees the damage that corruption causes," he said.

Ramaphosa said that in order to win back the public’s trust, the party will have to stop giving positions to people who face corruption charges.

Last week, the embattled former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede, who faces serious charges of corruption relating to a R280m waste tender made a startling return to the echelons of power after the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal made her a member of the provincial legislature.

“We cannot as the ANC rightfully call ourselves leaders of society if we fail to lead the people in eradicating corruption from our own ranks. We cannot hope to win back people’s trust if we continue to allow cadres who are charged with criminal conduct for corruption to occupy positions of responsibility within government and our movement,” Ramaphosa said.

“Those charged are required to insulate the African National Congress from reputational damage arising from their personal challenges by stepping aside while their cases are being heard.”

Ramaphosa said the resolutions to deal with corruption that were taken at the conference he won in 2017 must be implemented without any delays.

Those resolutions, he said, include that party members accused of corruption must appear before the integrity commission or face disciplinary processes and that those who fail to explain themselves must voluntarily step aside or be suspended.

He also said that the ANC must publicly “disassociate” itself from anyone who is accused of corruption.

Ramaphosa also wants the ANC leaders to make “regular declaration of financial interests” and undergo lifestyle audits. This, he said, should include public representatives.

He said that there must also be a clear policy on ANC leaders and their families doing business with the state.

“We cannot and must not have a ‘we don’t care’, and ‘it does not matter what people say about the ANC’ attitude. We must be sensitive to what our people think and say about the ANC and our behaviour because we are their servants,” Ramaphosa said.

“Those who see the ANC as a path to wealth, to power, to influence or status must know that they do not belong in our movement. They must change their ways or they must leave.”

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