Beneficiaries of corruption will fight efforts of change - Netshitenzhe

Erin Bates

Johannesburg - Beneficiaries of state capture and corruption will not give up without a fight, says ANC national executive committee member Joel Netshitenzhe.

"From the strange things happening at the Hawks, the NPA, Denel and so on, to a cabinet statement released by a minister which never was, all these terrors. My view... [is] that the beneficiaries of corruption and state capture would not give up without a fight,” Netshitenzhe said.

He delivered the political report at the first Umkhonto WeSizwe national council on Saturday, when he told around 1000 former combatants that there were obvious elements of self-destruction in the ANC has been carrying on.

The former soldiers of the ANC's liberation army called the special gathering in an attempt to discuss the current state of the ANC and to come with objectives to help correct some of the wrongs in the nearly 105 year old movement.

Several well-known former and current leaders in the ANC made it to the meeting including Minister Jeff Radebe, deputy minister Bheki Cele, ANC national executive member Tony Yengeni, Denis Goldberg, Wally Serote, Matthews Phosa and Ronnie Kasrils

"In South Africa itself you can stand on rooftops and talk about imperialism and regime change all you want but if you yourself create an opportunity for the opportunists, they will take the opportunity," he said.

Netshitenzhe said that the world over, when there was a crisis, people generally gravitated towards right-wing movements, adding that this trend was exacerbated by inequality and the marginalisation of the majority.

He shared his observations on Britain voting to leave the European Union bloc, the United State voting for Donald Trump and movements towards the right across Latin America.

There was a tendency to blame this on the intervention of western powers, he said.

While he admitted that such an element existed, the loss of power was mostly self-inflicted and acts of corruption created the opportunity for right-wing forces.

People complain about corruption because it affects them directly

Netshitenzhe also analysed the pattern emerging from elections in the country over the years and their potential impact on both the ANC and South Africa. He said there were councillors who were being forced to return their cars to dealerships and no longer able to pay bonds for their homes because the people they served were more concerned about the corruption being seen at national level.

"It has a direct impact of corruption on the mass of our people. So when they respond in the elections, they are not theorising, it's what they actually experience," he said.

When we say we need to get rid of corruption, it's not only about theory, or that it challenges sense and sensibility, morality and ethics of the ANC but also about the impact of the people, he continued.

He said this trend had in the past emerged in post-colonial countries, usually resulting in a coup d’etat, something he warned would not happen in South Africa.

"Here the ANC will just lose elections."

He said those who opted to stay away from the polls during the 2016 municipal polls had no regret about their decision but had instead warned the ANC, that it should correct itself or face the possibility of a loss of power in the 2019 general elections.

He added that the country faced the threat of becoming delegitimised, which often started with a leader, followed by his political party, the government and ultimately the state.

Netshitenzhe said councillors who had lost their jobs and some in the ANC who were still driven by ethics had the power to do something, saying that change would come from society and the liberation movement itself.

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