Ramaphosa: Truths revealed at Zondo commission will hurt

2019-03-22 20:33
President Cyril Ramaphosa, with Ebrahim Rasool behind his right shoulder, Bheki Cele with the white hat and Zizi Kodwa with the sunglasses at the far right of the frame. (Jan Gerber/News24)

President Cyril Ramaphosa, with Ebrahim Rasool behind his right shoulder, Bheki Cele with the white hat and Zizi Kodwa with the sunglasses at the far right of the frame. (Jan Gerber/News24)

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The truth will come out in the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture, and the truth will hurt the ANC and some individuals, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday. 

While Ramaphosa was campaigning in Delft in the Western Cape, the ANC's election head and former minister Fikile Mbalula was testifying before the commission of inquiry.

Ramaphosa was asked about this when journalists had the rare opportunity for an impromptu presidential press conference. 

"Our view on state capture is we appointed the commission. It was the ANC that said there should be such a commission because it was the ANC that realised that corruption and state capture had set in and we felt that we needed to address this," Ramaphosa claimed.

In fact, the commission had been ordered in the remedial action of the former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in her report, State of Capture, and the commission was only appointed after former president Jacob Zuma ran out of legal routes to stop it.

The Constitutional Court ruled in the landmark Nkandla case that the Public Protector's recommendations are binding unless reviewed and set aside by a court.


Ramaphosa said the truth would come out in the commission, and acknowledged that this would hurt.

"Telling the truth sometimes hurts. It will hurt the organisation. It will hurt individuals. But if we are serious about serving the interests of the people of South Africa, we must tell the truth," he said. 

"As the ANC we were humble enough to say: wrong things were done in the past. And we humble ourselves. There have been mistakes, there have been missteps. But at the same time we are saying accountability must take its course. Those who were responsible for anything that has gone wrong must be accountable. They must face the full might of the law."

Also during the press briefing, Ramaphosa said he doesn't worry about voters punishing the ANC at the ballot box for the rolling blackouts. Similarly, he says voters are still willing to put their crosses next to the ANC, despite all the revelations, as the ANC is admitting its mistakes and taking steps to correct them.

Ramaphosa said the ANC had "laid it all bare" in its elective conference in December 2017 report, "saying we ourselves have done a number of things wrongly and we are putting ourselves in the hands of our people with great humility".

"And so we are saying having done so, we are saying: let's move forward. We need to repair whatever has gone wrong. We must be measured on our determination, firstly on our humility to accept and secondly on our determination to get rid of corruption and to move forward. To this end, we are already taking enormous steps to move forward and rid South Africa of corruption. 

"And our people are listening to that, they are heeding our message, and they are saying, yes ANC, we hear you, we thank you for the way you are projecting it and we are prepared to vote for you so that you can continue with the work you have started."

While Ramaphosa was speaking to journalists, he was flanked by Western Cape election campaign coordinator Ebrahim Rasool, who was recalled as Western Cape premier after allegedly bribing journalists to write positive stories about him in the so-called brown envelope scandal; Police Minister Bheki Cele, who was dismissed as national police commissioner after former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found he was guilty of improper conduct and maladministration when the police entered into a R500m lease for the Sanlam Middestad Building in Pretoria; and Zizi Kodwa, who was recently accused of rape, which he vehemently denies.

Read more on:    anc  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  state capture inquiry

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