President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on ANC members implicated in wrongdoing by the Zondo commission into state capture to voluntarily appear before the party’s integrity commission.
He also sought to distance the party from those implicated in corruption, saying the organisation itself was never involved in corrupt activities.
“All ANC cadres implicated by the commission in alleged corrupt practices should take the initiative to make presentations to the integrity commission (IC) and make themselves available as soon as possible. Those who do not do so within the timeframe will obviously find themselves in some difficulties in relation to the IC,” he said.
He was speaking at the meeting of the party’s national executive committee (NEC) on Monday.
The integrity commission is tasked with investigating members who harm the party’s image through corruption or unethical behaviour. It does not have to wait for the accused members to appear in court before it investigates them.
While the outcome of the state capture inquiry does not paint the ANC, the democratic government, parliament and a number of its members in good light, it was true the ANC as an organisation was never involved in corrupt activities, said Ramaphosa.
“The ANC therefore distances itself from those within our ranks who have been involved in corruption or complicit, and the organisation acknowledges state capture did take place under our watch.
“It involved members of the movement and found fertile ground in the provisions, weaknesses and tendencies that had developed in the organisation,” Ramaphosa said.
He praised the work of an internal task team led by party policy head Jeff Radebe that was tasked with processing recommendations of the state capture inquiry which relate to the party and its deployees.
The president indicated the work of the task team was widely welcomed by NEC members and it adopted the task team’s report. He said the adoption of the report set the stage for engagement in the party’s structures and in broader society on the outcomes of the state capture inquiry.
He said the task team’s “deep analysis” of chief justice and inquiry chair Raymond Zondo’s reports will make it easier for ANC members who are in government to respond to the report, guided by the understanding and the posture adopted by the ANC.
Ramaphosa urged the ANC to seize the moment as an opportunity to deal with the recommendations and intensify the process of renewing the organisation and society at large.
“Importantly, the NEC subcommittees and deployees in the executive and legislatures should as a matter of urgency apply themselves to the recommendations.”
Ramaphosa said in the task team’s discussion document, the ANC acknowledges it should have done better to prevent the abuse of power and misappropriation of resources. He reiterated a statement by the Zondo commission that as long as the ANC is in power, the failure of the party to reform and renew itself, as undertaken, will render the state unable to rid itself of the scourge of state capture and corruption.
“The ANC does admit it made mistakes. As it sought to execute the mandate it was given by voters, it failed to live up to the expectations of our people and was inconsistent in upholding the values.
“In our submission at the state capture inquiry, we said as the leadership, duly elected, we acknowledge the shortcomings of our organisation and further undertook to work alongside all South Africans to ensure the era of state capture is subjugated to history. That’s what we said,” he said.