African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC) member Jackson Mthembu has vowed that the party will “act against corruption in all its manifestations.”
Mthembu was reacting to scepticism on social media following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s letter to ANC members on Sunday exhorting the party to be more resolute in the fight against corruption.
‘ANC will prove them wrong’
Writing on Twitter on Monday, Mthembu said, “@eNCA says @MYANC won’t follow President @CyrilRamaphosa’s call to act decisively on corruption. The ANC NEC this weekend will definitely disappoint the @eNCA and all other doubting Thomases. We will act against corruption in all its manifestations and prove all of them wrong.”
Another NEC member, Derek Hanekom, also tweeted that Ramaphosa’s letter “will set the tone for the action that will have to follow.
He added, “The letter is clear. The mood and determination to deal with this evil behaviour is strong. Action will follow. No escaping it – must happen and will happen. Otherwise…we are all doomed.”
The NEC is scheduled to meet this weekend as the ANC grapples with the fallout of alleged COVID-19 corruption. At its last meeting earlier this month, it decided to prepare an audited list of ANC leaders facing corruption or disciplinary charges. It is expected that such members may be asked to step aside from their roles in government.
‘Accused No. 1’
In his letter, Ramaphosa conceded that the ANC and its leaders “stand accused of corruption.” He added, “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.”
Ramaphosa said the time had come for the ANC “to be unflinching in restoring the values, ethics and standing of our organisation” and eradicate corruption within its 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. 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,” he added.
Speaking to talk radio 702 on Monday, ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said the party is serious about tackling corruption this time around. To demonstrate this seriousness, he cited the audited list being prepared and a new requirement that members should declare their financial interests.
Mabe added, “We are doing all of these things to make sure we are transparent in our duties and are aware of what our own cadres are involved in, those that might otherwise end up catching the public attention.
“The fact that we are beginning to take action in our own structures shows decisiveness on our part. Unfortunately, we are not doing this to be praised by the media; we are doing this because we want to make sure that we consolidate discipline and ethical leadership within our ranks.”