PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has delivered a jeremiad to ANC members amid startling revelations about the looting of millions of rand meant to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.
In a hard-hitting seven-page letter, Ramaphosa described the recent reports and findings of corruption related to COVID relief emergency aid as “an unforgivable betrayal to millions of South Africans”.
He said ANC needs to face the reality that its leaders stand accused of corruption – and that the party itself is accused ‘number one’.
“Today, the ANC and its leaders stand accused of corruption. The ANC may not stand alone in the dock, but it does stand as Accused No. 1. This is the start reality that we must now confront,” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa said the growing anger among South Africans over the corruption allegations was justified.
“I am sure that you are aware that across the nation there is a sense of anger and disillusionment at reports of corruption in our response to the coronavirus pandemic. This anger is understandable and justified,” said Ramaphosa.
“In recent weeks, we have heard stories of tenders for personal protective equipment that have been given to individuals associated with ANC leaders and of public servants flouting the law in issuing tenders.”
“What has caused the greatest outrage is that there are private sector companies and individuals including civil servants who have exploited a grave medical, social and economic crisis to wrongfully enrich themselves.”
He called for action to be taken within the party including the following:
- All members accused of, or reported to be involved with corrupt practices to account to the party’s Integrity Committee.
- Those who fail to give acceptable explanation, or to voluntarily step down while they face disciplinary action, be suspended
- The party should publicly disassociate itself from anyone, whether donor, supporter or member, accused of or reported to be involved in corruption.
- ANC members to make regular declarations of financial interests.
- Lifestyle audits for all ANC leaders and public representatives
- Develop clear policy on ANC leaders and their family members doing business with the state.
- Give the ANC’s Integrity Commission administrative and legal support.
(COMPILED BY INSIDE POLITICS STAFF)