Gwede Mantashe slams corrupt cadres

2013-06-02 14:00

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ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has lambasted corruption in the party, saying the “commitment we had to fight apartheid has been replaced with greed”.

Addressing an ANC cadre’s forum in East London, Eastern Cape, on Friday, he said greed and lust for money had “bedevilled our politics” and were “messing up our movement”.

Mantashe lashed some cadres in the governing party whom he said were entrusted with managing big government department budgets, but behaved like a “mouse in a cheese factory” and ate themselves to death.

“They don’t know the difference between a salary and what should be used to serve our people,” Mantashe said.

He said this kind of practice had elevated corruption to an “industry” of its own.

“When a tender is issued, you find there is already a structure of collaboration and a network that says if a deal was going to be worth R10?million, it ends up being R300?million.

“Can we stand here and say that we are incorruptible?” Mantashe asked members of the forum.

“Ethical training is about teaching cadres of the movement that stealing government money is a crime. That commitment we had to fight apartheid has been replaced with greed. We are greedy, we want money.”

A few weeks ago, Mantashe issued a strongly worded statement criticising the illegal landing of the Gupta wedding plane at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria.

But his stinging rebuke attracted criticism from other leaders within the ANC’s national executive committee.

It also prompted speculation of a rift between Mantashe and President Jacob Zuma.

At a national executive committee meeting last month, the secretary-general was taken to task for releasing the harsh statement “prematurely”.

The national executive committee sources have downplayed suggestions of a rift.

“The issue that was raised was that Mantashe did not consult on how the ANC should respond on the Gupta matter,” said a committee source.

“That is not to say Mantashe required any permission to issue a statement.”

Another executive committee member said that in a bid to quell speculation, Zuma himself told the meeting there was no friction between him and Mantashe.

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