President Cyril Ramaphosa has written a letter to ANC members over the corruption that has been allowed to run rampant across the organisation, calling for them to eradicate it in order to restore public confidence.
Ramaphosa sent a letter to ANC members on Sunday, after his party and its members have been embroiled in countless corruption scandals throughout the COVID-19 crisis, particularly regarding the awarding of PPE equipment tenders to connected individuals, resulting in a shortage for frontline workers. The letter began with Ramaphosa urging the party’s members to show “courage” and “honesty” in the fight against corruption. However, he fell short of taking actual responsibility as South Africa’s ruling party.
“To be quite clear, I am not suggesting that corruption is only a problem of our movement. Nor am I suggesting that corruption is widespread among our membership or leadership. In fact, I know that the overwhelming majority of ANC members and leaders strongly oppose corruption, patronage and all other forms of criminality,” Ramaphosa said, according to Sowetan LIVE.
“However, as a movement we have so far been unable to turn our organisational positions into actions that will end corruption once and for all. As a result, we have allowed corruption to continue and, at times, to flourish within our ranks.”
He put particular emphasis on the members’ powers to appoint the appropriate people into positions of power and that it needs to reflect the urgent needs of the communities that they represent, saying that it’s their unique responsibility to lead the country out of the corruption crisis.
“It is you who chooses the leadership, who sets the policies and who implements the programmes of our organisation. It is you who lives in communities, who interacts daily with the front line of service delivery and who sees the damage that corruption causes.
““We cannot as the ANC rightfully call ourselves leaders of society if we fail to lead the people in eradicating corruption from our own ranks. We cannot hope to win back people’s trust if we continue to allow cadres who are charged with criminal conduct for corruption to occupy positions of responsibility within government and our movement,” he added. “Those charged are required to insulate the African National Congress from reputational damage arising from their personal challenges by stepping aside while their cases are being heard.”
The president also said that there needs to be clear policy on who the ANC chooses to do business with, particularly a policy to suppress nepotism in the awarding of government contracts.
“We cannot and must not have a ‘we don’t care’, and ‘it does not matter what people say about the ANC’ attitude. We must be sensitive to what our people think and say about the ANC and our behaviour because we are their servants,” he said.
“Those who see the ANC as a path to wealth, to power, to influence or status must know that they do not belong in our movement. They must change their ways or they must leave.”