Some cadres in government ‘like mice in charge of a cheese factory’ – Gwede Mantashe

2014-04-16 12:12

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ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has called on the party’s provincial structures to establish their own integrity commissions that will deal with all forms of corruption against cadres.

Mantashe said this during former South African Communist Party secretary-general Chris Hani’s memorial lecture in Kanyamazane township outside Nelspruit last night.

He said the ANC had to fight “imagined” and “real” corruption and bemoaned the fact that some cadres behaved like mice put in charge of a cheese factory when appointed to government positions.

The ANC decided to establish the integrity commission nationally after the Mangaung elective conference in 2012. The commission was empowered to dismiss any cadre for corruption, and it was suggested that any ANC office bearer would be required to declare his/her financial interests within three months of taking office.

“We must relentlessly fight everything that dents the image of the ANC and betrays great leaders like Chris Hani. We may be fewer in the beginning, but the numbers will increase with time,” Mantashe said.

Mantashe said that misbehaving ANC members should be summoned to the integrity commission and be told to make painful decisions. He called on Mpumalanga secretary Lucky Ndinisa to ensure that the commission was established in the province.

“One of the things about a liberation movement when it becomes a governing party is that values are replaced with greed and greed gets interpreted as corruption. That corruption we are confronted with every day is actually a function of greed of individual ANC cadres who think that when given responsibility to run resources of the state ... they behave like mice put in charge of a cheese factory and eat themselves to death,” Mantashe said.

“Misbehaving comrades must be called to that commission and be told to take a painful decision. The ANC must be able to call on its cadre to fall on his sword and disappear. The cadre must be removed because the future of this organisation depends on whether we preserve its reputation and image in society that it leads,” he said.

Mantashe stressed that the ANC was a leader of society and did not exist to benefit its members.

The secretary-general said the party had survived difficulties because it was able to “self-correct” and preserve what was good and adapt to changing environments.

Mantashe did not speak about controversial issues such as President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead upgrades that cost R246 million, or the “Vote No” campaign co-headed by former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils.

Read: Is Jacob Zuma afraid of the hungry people at his gate?

He did, however, speak about meeting a group of disgruntled members at Luthuli House on Monday.

The group went there to complain about Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza’s leadership style and about politicians interfering with employment and the allocation of tenders in municipalities.

The group does not want Mabuza to return as premier after the May 7 elections.

“I told them that they’ve come to the ANC headquarters to bring factional issues. I told them that you comrades are a faction and must go to [provincial secretary Lucky] Ndinisa with your problems,” Mantashe said.

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