The burning issue of corruption was once again top of the agenda for the governing party’s highest decision-making structure this weekend during its meetings.
In an attempt to fight graft in its ranks, the ANC national executive council (NEC) resolved yet again to strengthen the capacity of its disciplinary committee and integrity commission to investigate any member and leader who is implicated in corruption.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, outlining the outcomes of the meeting, the NEC resolved that those who have been implicated in incidents of corruption and other serious crimes against the people, including those charged in courts, must step aside from their positions and/or responsibilities.
This is not the first time the party has resolved thus, although implementation has been uneven.
The party is planning to immediately prepare an audited list of cases and submit this list within one month to the national working committee and the NEC, with recommendations for action. This will be done with the assistance of the integrity commission.
The governing party will be reviewing its code of ethics to ensure that it provides clear guidance with regards to family members doing business with government.
In addition, national officials will provide an “in-depth analysis of the nature and causes of the current manifestations of corruption, including the intersection between business and politics, and make recommendations regarding the strengthening of ethics and revolutionary values within the ANC”.
This comes after reports that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko, as well as Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku and his wife Loyiso Masuku, a Johannesburg member of the mayoral committee for corporate and shared services, are embroiled in a multimillion-rand personal protective equipment tender scandal.
After the story was largely publicised, Diko took leave of absence while the Masukus were instructed to follow suit by the party’s Gauteng structure last week.
The ANC said it was “deeply embarrassed” by allegations of corruption against its members, who are said to have unduly benefitted from funds set aside to fight the Covid- 19 coronavirus.
The ANC has vowed to fight against any form of corruption and ensure that anyone found to have been involved in illegal activities faces the might of the law.
“Corruption has devastating consequences on our economy and society, impacting on the integrity of our institutions and our leaders, and undermining the very moral and ethical basis of our young democracy,” the party noted.
The governing party did acknowledge officials and citizens who have worked tirelessly even during the pandemic.
“The NEC once again hails the bravery, commitment and selfless service by frontline health, emergency services, security and other essential workers,” the statement reads.
The party wants government to finalise Covid-19 economic recovery and fast-track a plan that focuses on social and economic infrastructure development, and meets basic needs and maintenance of existing infrastructure.
“In this context, the NEC received a briefing from the economic transformation sub-committee on the implementation plans and funding mechanisms for the national infrastructure recovery programme as a driver of economic recovery and transformation,” said the statement.
The NEC received an update on ongoing work by the social transformation sub-committee regarding the feasibility of a basic income grant.
“A consultation process will also be continued with social partners including the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) to ensure that the engagements also take place within the ambit of the comprehensive social security discussions that have been taking place at Nedlac,” the party said.
As the country observes Women’s Month, the ANC has noted that the celebration comes amid hard times as the scourge of violence against women continues to sweep through the country.
The party stresses the importance of speeding up the finalisation of key legislation which could assist in holding perpetrators to account.
It urged the “speedy finalisation of the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill, Domestic Violence Amendment Bill, Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill to strengthen the response of the criminal justice system to gender-based violence.
“The NEC calls on ANC structures to campaign alongside all sectors of society against gender-based violence and to involve men and boys in eradicating the culture of violence and toxic masculinity so as to build a truly non-sexist society,” the party said.