ANC can't let big corruption go scot-free - Mantashe

2017-11-26 16:00
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe addresses Western Cape ANC delegates. (Paul Herman/News24)

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe addresses Western Cape ANC delegates. (Paul Herman/News24)

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Cape Town - ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe says the party cannot be seen to be allowing individuals to get away with big corruption at state level.

Mantashe was addressing delegates at the Western Cape ANC's provincial general council (PGC) in Cape Town on Sunday, where the province is due to consolidate its 182 branch nominations.

He took the opportunity to rebuff those who have denied the existence of state capture, citing testimony at the Eskom inquiry in Parliament last week as evidence.

"Instead of dealing with the accusations, we are in denial. When we deal with corruption, if we want to defeat it, we must be able to deal with both tigers and flies.

"We must not only deal with the flies and leave the tigers. In our case if you are a low-lying fly, you can be arrested, but the big guns go scot-free."

The ANC will be saved only once they start treating corruption of all kinds seriously, he said. 

"When you look at state resources, the reality is you are not stealing from the government, you are stealing from the poor. You are limiting the capacity of the state to deliver services.

"When you nominate leaders, we must be seen that we want to correct that, and society must see the intention."

President Jacob Zuma as recently as last week told the National Council of Provinces that state capture did not exist.

'Succession race can't be a free-for-all'

Mantashe also said the election of the party's new leaders, including its president, should not be looked at as a "free-for-all".

He admitted that the party needs to have a proper conversation about how it has handled succession races in the past.

"When electing new leadership, delegates must choose leaders based on electing a governing party in mind, not individuals.

"Every time the ANC has allowed succession to be a free-for-all, we have got ourselves into a crisis.

"We cannot allow a free-for-all. We must have that conversation of how we handle succession."

Delegates should vote in line with principles not personalities.

New president can't put forward own agenda

Mantashe also said that it didn't matter which of the party's seven presidential candidates won the party's leadership race, at least from a policy level.

"Every one of the candidate will implement ANC policies. They can't have their own policies. They might have an "obsession" on one aspect, but that's all it is."

Radical economic transformation, for instance, was one of the party's policies, and it must address the contradictions of society.

He also said that the new candidate has to restore the crumbling alliance with the SA Communist Party and Congress of SA Trade Unions.

"The alliance is at its lowest. It is divided and the relationship is bad. The notion of the Communist Party contesting elections on its own is a formula for disaster.

"If we come to a decision where we say that the usefulness of the alliance doesn't matter, that is a different issue.

"But if we are going to just break, we will divide our base, and then we are going to lose power."

Ramaphosa victory expected in Western Cape

The Western Cape delegation was dominated by members who prefer Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to be elected new party president.

The province has seen factional battles play out in public this year between the leadership of the Cape Town metro, and the broader province, over its preferred choice of candidate.

Ramaphosa is expected to have almost a two-thirds lead of branch nominations in the province, which will be announced later on Sunday.

Provincial ANC veterans were present in the crowd, including former premier Ebrahim Rasool, former Hawks head Anwa Dramat, and Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich.

Approximately 50% of Western Cape branch nominations were consolidated by 13:00 on Sunday.

The official announcement is expected after 17:00. The counting is being handled by EleXions Agency, a private company that has handled ANC conferences since 2007.

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