ANC stalwarts urge Ramaphosa and NEC to make good on commitment to fight graft

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  • ANC veterans have written an open letter to party leader Cyril Ramaphosa and his NEC urging them to make true on promises to fight corruption. 
  • The veterans also expressed their disapproval of those linked to leaders conducting business with the state.
  • They have also availed themselves to assist the ANC with cleaning up corruption and the damage it's done to the party.

ANC veterans and stalwarts have weighed in on the ongoing debate about those linked to political leaders conducting business with the state.

The grouping, made up mostly of former leaders of the organisation, have penned an open letter to party president Cyril Ramaphosa and his national executive committee (NEC) following an NEC statement this week.

"Contentions by some that family members and private associates of office-bearers are entitled to do business with the state must be rejected out of hand," the stalwarts said in the letter.

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They argued that there was no governance framework that allowed for "such patronage", and encouraged party members to instead promote ethical standards in both the party and government that prohibit this.

Some family members of leaders, including secretary-general Ace Magashule, NEC member Nomvula Mokonyane, Ramaphosa's spokesperson Khusela Diko and Deputy Minister in the Presidency Thembi Siweya, have come under the media spotlight for being awarded contracts, worth millions in some cases, to procure Covid-19 resources for the state.

Just this week Magashule, who said he was not defending his sons, told News24 if any wrongdoing was found against them, action should be taken. He, however, said there was no law barring them from conducting business with the state.

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NEC member Mondli Gungubele questioned this view, and said ANC leaders should not lean on the law as the minimum prescript on the issue, but should instead lean on more ethical and moral questions of whether it was right for the children of leaders to have access to the state's millions.

Undermined vision

The former leaders said while they were encouraged by the NEC's commitment to fight corruption, the "revulsion" expressed by society was justified, and called on the president to "decisively grasp the nettle of corruption".

In the letter, the stalwarts claim this has "almost fatally" undermined the vision, values and structure of the former liberation movement, complaining that the actions of some members, who did not deserve to be members of the ANC, had severely damaged the party.

"We are committed to draw a clear line between our organisation and those who steal from the people, thereby subverting the very essence and reason for the ANC's existence as 'a servant of the people'," wrote the party stalwarts.

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They also welcomed the decisions to compile and submit the names of those implicated in corruption to the NEC and national working committee, to strengthen the capacities of the disciplinary and integrity committees, as well as seeing to the implementation of a resolution taken at the ANC's 2017 elective conference for those implicated to step aside.

The stalwarts, who have continuously availed themselves to helping the organisation, do so yet again in this letter.

"We are mindful that after more than a decade of dashed hopes and damage to national life, the NEC promises much through these commitments. Like you, we believe there can be no going back," concludes the letter from the ANC veterans.

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