ANC 'drawing a line in the sand' over corruption, says Ramaphosa
President 'not insulted' by controversial Zuma letter, as party says members charged with serious criminal and corruption offences must step aside
The ANC has resolved that all its members - including leaders at national, provincial and local government level - who have been charged with serious criminal and corruption charges must step aside.
So says ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa following the party’s heated national executive committee (NEC) meeting at the weekend. Ramaphosa was, together with the party's national officials, briefing the media on the outcomes of the meeting.
The NEC further decided that all ANC members and leaders who face allegations of serious wrongdoing must also subject themselves to the party’s integrity commission to explain themselves.
It was in this spirit that Ramaphosa himself will be appearing before the commission to answer about his CR17 campaign funding.
According to Ramaphosa, the party was now “drawing a line in the sand” against corruption.
“The NEC agreed on decisive action that needs to be taken to tackle corruption within our own ranks as the ANC and across society,” he said.
“In this regard, the meeting received a report from the national working committee on the work undertaken to collate information on the individuals within the ANC who are facing charges of corruption, or other serious crimes.
“The NEC is welcome to report any actions being taken at various levels and resolve that these actions must be completed as a matter of urgency. This must be accompanied by public accountability and the NEC agreed that this will be a turning point in the fight against corruption.
Ramaphosa also announced that the NEC had concluded that the letter penned by his predecessor Jacob Zuma was part of a “choreographed” ploy to weaken him.
Furthermore, the NEC meeting decided to endorse Ramaphosa’s letter to ANC membership, which gave rise to Zuma’s response.
“What seems to be a choreographed campaign against the president will not distract the movement from undertaking an intensified program against corruption and state capture as mandated by the 54th national conference,” said Ramaphosa.
PODCAST | NEC meeting dominated by discussions on corruption
ANC chairman Gwede Mantashe backed Ramaphosa, adding that it was no coincidence that Zuma’s letter followed that of his ally Andile Lungisa, who had called on Ramaphosa to subject himself to the integrity commission.
Moreover, their other ally Tony Yengeni was the one who at an NWC meeting called on Ramaphosa to lead by example and resign over the CR17 campaign funding.
Despite these clear divisions, the ANC top six leaders continued to insist that all was well within the party's ranks.
Ramaphosa said he had not responded to Zuma’s letter because he had received many other letters as party leader.
Asked if the Zuma letter was an insult to him, Ramaphosa said he did not view it as such and that no disciplinary process would be taken against Zuma.
“You say, was the letter an insult to me and what will the ANC do in the form of disciplinary process? No, we are not going to go that way - and I don't see it as an insult,” he said.
“I'm not that easily insulted. As much as people can stand on mountains and hills and seek to insult me, but I am not easily insulted because the burden of leadership is that you must be able to get members and others to be able to express themselves.
“Sometimes you don't like what they say. There will be discussions that will ensue around this matter and discussions that should be fairly straightforward and friendly, and comradely, rather than discussions that will be underpinned by dislike for one another, hatred for one another.”