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Msimang’s resignation casts shadow over ANC

Perceived shielding of corrupt leaders thrust into the spotlight

Jeanette Chabalala Senior Reporter
Former ANC Veterans League Deputy President Mavuso Msimang brief the media at Luthuli House in Johannesburg.
Former ANC Veterans League Deputy President Mavuso Msimang brief the media at Luthuli House in Johannesburg.
Image: Freddy mavunda

The resignation of ANC Veterans League deputy president Mavuso Msimang ahead of the national elections shows that the ruling party has serious problems and could potentially lead to it losing its majority, political experts have warned.  

In his letter to party secretary-general Fikile Mbalula, Msimang said for “several years the ANC had been wrecked by endemic corruption, with devastating consequences on the governance of the country and the lives of the poor people, of whom there continues to be so many”. 

He said three decades [of being in power] later, the ANC’s own track record of corruption was a cause for shame.

Msimang could not be reached for hours on Thursday and later said in a text: “Sorry, I can’t talk right now”.

ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said Msimang’s contribution to the party remained invaluable.

Bhengu-Motsiri called on veterans to “stop de-campaigning the ANC and work through the structures of the organisation”.

“The leadership of the ANC led by its President Cyril Ramaphosa have always availed themselves for counsel and direction by veterans and stalwarts. De-campaigning the ANC has serious implications for the public standing of the organisation.”

Political analyst André Duvenhage said Msimang was one of the historical figures within the ANC, and for him to resign a few months before the “most difficult” elections for the ANC since 1994, showed that the party faced “serious problems”.

“Corruption and nepotism have also reached endemic levels and there is a pattern of state capture. I can in no way disagree with the arguments he’s put forward and it is highly likely that the ANC is going to lose its majority in the coming elections in 2024,” Duvenhage said.

“It is also highly likely they will lose their power base in both KZN and Gauteng."

He said South Africans were becoming dissatisfied as the ANC failed to keep its promises.

“We have also the Phala Phala case, so Ramaphosa is not outside of the framework of all these things that are contributing to people leaving the ANC.”

Ramaphosa said the resignation was regrettable and that he holds Msimang in highest regard.

Another political analyst, Levy Ndou, said Msimang could have been “frustrated” by the ANC’s perceived lack of action on members implicated in the state capture inquiry but there is no action taken against them. 

Ndou said Msimang might not have had engagements with his comrades in the party “because I don’t think there is anybody in the ANC who is happy that Msimang has resigned”. 

“The perception is there that the ANC is slow in dealing with people who have been implicated in corruption. You need to have an ANC that is seen to be very quick to act on those that have been implicated in corruption or corrupt activities.”

He said the Moses Kotane local municipality in the North West had appointed Mzwandile Mkhize as chief financial officer despite him being implicated in the VBS saga.

“So, when the voice is loud in the fight against corruption and any wrongdoing, you still get other organs of state that are still employing people with big clouds over their heads – those are some of the issues that are worrying for people like Msimang, hence they get frustrated by what comrades in the ANC are doing.”

Mbalula on Wednesday said he had given the North West province space to handle Mkhize’s matter, adding that “nobody will do as they wish in the ANC”.

“That CFO and the things they have done and those who have done those things of employing somebody who is implicated in VBS, there will be consequences on them because they did that thing arrogantly.

“We can no longer allow perceptions to hang on that we are a corrupt organisation and we do nothing about corruption. We cannot allow that. Comrades in the council...cannot go with their eyes open and their minds, go and employ somebody who is implicated in something and then you go and confirm that person as CFO.”


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