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Law enforcement 'must leave no stone unturned' in targeting the corrupt, ANC says after NEC lekgotla

ANC's powerful decision-making body says it backs the work of law- enforcement agencies after high-profile arrests last week

05 October 2020 - 20:02 By thabo mokone
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday that the party's NEC has endorsed the work of law-enforcement agencies.
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday that the party's NEC has endorsed the work of law-enforcement agencies.
Image: Gallo Images

The ANC's national executive committee (NEC) lekgotla has endorsed the work carried out by the various law-enforcement agencies which last week arrested several senior party and government figures on fraud and corruption charges.

This is according to ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa, who on Monday evening held a media briefing on the outcomes of the lekgotla of the NEC — the party's highest decision-making body in between national conferences — which was held on Friday and Monday.

The lekgotla resolved to endorse the work of the various law-enforcement agencies, such as the Hawks, the SIU and the NPA's Investigative Directorate, after they arrested tenderpreneurs such as Edwin Sodi and Durban businessman Toshan Pandy, and former ANC MP Vincent Smith on various charges of fraud and corruption.

The state law-enforcement agencies also arrested several senior government officials who are linked to the businessmen, after they were flagged as having facilitated their questionable government contracts.

“The work that is being done by law-enforcement agencies at the moment is commendable and we reaffirm that we must leave no stone unturned in terms of dealing with crime and corruption,” said Ramaphosa during the virtual post-lekgotla briefing.

“The ANC commits to an approach that balances the need for the detection of the movement of bribes, the use of financial systems to launder illicit money flows and the human rights need to allow for honest living, including engaging in business practices including where a citizen has ceased to be entrusted with a prominent public function,” said Ramaphosa.

The ANC president, who is also the head of state, said the party's NEC lekgotla had also resolved to ensure there should be further consultations on how to regulate the issue of politically exposed people conducting business with government.

The issue has come under sharp public scrutiny after the husband of Ramaphosa's spokesperson, Khusela Diko, emerged as one of the prominent people who benefited handsomely from dodgy dealing related to government's allocation of Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) tenders.

Diko has since taken leave as the matter in under investigation, and so is Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku and his wife Loyiso after they were implicated in the saga.

The Dikos and the Masukus are family friends.

Several other top ANC figures have been implicated in PPE deals and other forms of corruption related to state capture.

“In this regard the lekgotla reaffirmed the position of the ANC and the government that the employees of the state should not conduct business with the government. At the same time, further consultations will be held among the alliance partners and in the legislatures across the political spectrum to find the most appropriate approach to the issue of other political exposed people conducting business with the state,” said Ramaphosa.

He said the lekgotla had also resolved to prioritise the unity and renewal of the ANC, including the deployment of competent and capable leaders to key positions in state institutions.

“To drive the process of social compacting and mobilisation, we need an ANC that is united, that is focused on the task at hand and with active presence at community level and in all sectors of society.

“Strengthening and renewing the ANC therefore remains an absolute priority and the precondition for the deployment of capable cadres as public representative and in the state,” he said.

The ANC NEC lekgotla also discussed and adopted a post-Covid-19 economic recovery plan, which would focus on:

  • Strengthening energy security;
  • Localisation through industrialisation;
  • A thriving local industrial base;
  • Strengthening food security;
  • Infrastructure investment and delivery that meets the National Development Programme goals;
  • Support for tourism;
  • Green economy interventions;
  • Public employment programmes;
  • Gender equality and economic inclusion of women and youth; and
  • Macroeconomic policy interventions.

“In approaching these eight key economic focus areas, the ANC supports a phased approach to our economic recovery. This first phase focused on saving lives and included a huge health-care response,” Ramaphosa said.

Former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe attended the NEC lekgotla, at which ANC deployees such as mayors, and provincial government leaders were also present.