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ANC tainted by graft claims - Robinson

2012-08-05 22:44

Cape Town - Ex-UN Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson on Sunday warned that the ANC was tainted by graft smears and had shifted from its roots.

Speaking from the Cape Town city hall where icon Nelson Mandela in 1990 gave his first public speech as a free man after 27 years of imprisonment, Robinson said the achievements by the 100-year-old African National Congress (ANC) were "remarkable".

"Sadly, though, in recent years my South African friends tell me the ANC's moral authority has been eroded, tainted by allegations of corruption; a temporary betrayal of its history," she said.

Robinson said she was concerned by a state secrecy bill, which the ANC is pushing to be passed into law despite fears that it will muzzle whistleblowers and investigative journalists with heavy jail penalties.

"Perhaps it is not my place to pronounce on the levels of corruption at play in today's South Africa," she said in the 10th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture.

"But, from my experience as a human rights lawyer, I can give you a certainty: if you enact a law that cloaks the workings of state actors, that interferes with press freedom to investigate corruption, that stifles efforts by whistleblowers ... you are sure to increase those levels of corruption tomorrow."

Eighteen years after the end of apartheid, South Africa is facing high poverty levels, "shocking disparity" between rich and poor, and high crime and violence rates in some areas, where school pupils often have to duck on the floors to avoid gun crossfire.

"It is hard to address all the structural problems and inequalities in such a short time. Still you need to ask yourselves some uncomfortable questions," said Robinson, also a former Irish president, pointing to the underperforming education system and high illiteracy.

"Those questions need to be addressed if South Africa's hard-fought democracy is to be sustained for generations to come," she added.

Sunday marked the 50th anniversary since former ANC chief Mandela, now 94, was arrested as a liberation fighter on 5 August 1962, near Howick.

He was released from 27 years in jail in 1990 and become South Africa's first black president in 1994, a unifying force after decades of white minority rule.

Comments
  • Jacques - 2012-08-05 23:05

    And so the disillusionment begins...

      gerry.klos - 2012-08-06 05:16

      And so the disillusionment continues .......

      jock.black.50 - 2012-09-28 21:48

      We need strong, visionary and disciplined leaders... Terror Lekota for president!

  • tommo.too - 2012-08-05 23:21

    This lady knows what she is talking about. Read her words carefully...

  • nico.dejongh.90 - 2012-08-05 23:54

    Who rules South Africa, a book about our very own fat cats Mafiasos who use the ANC as shield to protect their mischievous deals and connections like Selebi,Modise,Agliotti and the MK who moved drug and arms etc...where 'Dr. Death' Wouter Basson and crew tried to expose them. Read all about it ....

  • peter.ivers.52 - 2012-08-06 01:25

    Please listen to this Great woman. She is highly respected around the world and has no axe to grind with anyone or any hidden agenda. What she says is how the the rest of the world sees SA, which is not good.

  • art5SA - 2012-08-06 04:08

    Like after the ANC STOLE TRILLIONS from the coffers... the international world still RESPECTS THEM??????????? PAH-LEASE!!!!

  • Koos - 2012-08-06 07:33

    Just one correction miss. Your allegations about corruption are not so much allegations. I can assure you the cANCer's are by default corrupt and criminal. That is fact not fiction.

  • eric.schollar - 2012-08-06 07:34

    Tainted? What planet does this woman live on? The ANC has its snout so far into the trough that all you see is its curly litlle tail!

  • peter.ivers.52 - 2012-08-06 13:08

    Where is my second comment gone? So much for free speech in South Africa!

  • ex.dutchman - 2012-08-06 15:29

    And she fails to mention the disparity on income levels in her own country. And the corruption. And the corruption when corruption is uncovered. A tribunal to prosecute less than upright polititions, costing the tax payer a couple of hundred thousand Euro, cost a mere couple of million to investigate and then the perpetrators "cannot Remember" and nobody is persecuted.

  • sibs.dlamini.1 - 2012-08-06 16:59

    And they call themselves civil servants. I don't know about the next guy but if my servant was robbing me blind and not doing any work and denying my children their education they would be out the door.

  • Johnson - 2012-09-29 08:51

    The key is all opposition parties to take hands - voters to return the country to the rule of law - the same rule of law Zuma spoke about in his speech at the UN which the very party he belongs too hardly recognise in South Africa

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