As the ANC admitted that despite harsh warnings issued at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country by President Cyril Ramaphosa, these warnings have not been heeded. The party’s caucus said the “impunity” must stop as the brazen nature characterised by “massive irregularities and acts of misconduct continued to dent the name of the organisation and made a mockery of all commitments to fight corruption”.
The caucus said it was embarrassed by the behaviour and called on government-led initiatives to investigate and bring those perpetrators to book.
“We will closely monitor the developments of the cases under investigation and take decisive action against those involved in corruption and unsavoury conduct. We further support that public servants and political office-bearers must avoid even the perception of conflicts of interest if we want to restore the trust of the public.”
Although the party pointed out that the National Executive Committee met on a virtual platform and engaged in robust reflections on the “shameful revelations of corruption in the procurement of essential materials to combat the Covid-19 pandemic”, political analyst Ralph Mathekga says the country may not see a grand anti-corruption commitment at the centre of politics.
“I think things politically are just not well aligned to repel corruption. We have allowed the deterioration to reach a point where political parties are no longer part of the solution on this.
This, in turn, leaves only one institution holding the fort while parliament and the executive are in a slumberland; in the judiciary.
“The fact is that the judiciary can not be a one-stop solution against corruption, it will not hold too long, it will crack.”
Mathekga said it was concerning that some of the people were clearly implicated in the corruption, which made it challenging to address it.
Mentioning that even the presidential spokesperson was implicated in reports of corruption, Mathekga noted Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) threat to cut ties with the party if it doesn’t get its house in order.
Cosatu enjoyed the close proximity to power and straying from it was unlikely, Mathekga said.
The union had once threatened to cut ties with the party during the era of Jacob Zuma, where are they today, he asked.
In 2017, the union sided with the SA Communist Party calling for Zuma to step down, saying he was not fit to run the country. The union sided with Ramaphosa to take the reigns from Zuma when the ANC elected new leadership.
It was the politics in the country that were just not aligned to take corruption seriously.
“Looking at political landscape, and the relationship between the EFF, DA and ANC, their relation towards each other within, the political arena does not allow for corruption to be taken seriously,” Mathekga said.
“The only thing that I think might happen is just as we have seen, people will open cases and people resorting to courts, but you are not going to see the centre of South African politics taking a much stronger position on anti-corruption.”
Meanwhile, Congress of the People has wanted Cosatu against blind loyalty. Corruption is not a new thing in the ANC and it did not start with Covid-19 PPE.
“They [Cosatu] are just barking, they will never bite,” said Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem.
“That is hypocrisy of the highest order. The engine room of the ANC is being led by a ‘comrade’ a secretary-general with very serious allegations of corruption against him. Everybody knows about a whole book titled Gangster State on these corruption allegations against Ace Magashule when he was still the Premier of the Free State. Why is Cosatu quiet on Ace?”
The party says Cosatu must make peace and accept that the ANC is infested with corrupt comrades, “who are stealing money meant to fight this vicious enemy Covid-19. They are wolves in sheepskin.”