Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor has welcomed the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday to subject ministers and their deputies, including other senior government officials, to lifestyle audits to curb corruption in the public sector.
Pandor, who has been calling for lifestyle audits for some time now, said former president Jacob Zuma and his leadership collective in the ANC had failed to execute the governing party’s commitment in 2016 to implement lifestyle audits on its leaders.
“He [Zuma] did not, nor did the leadership that he was part of as a collective. It was not pushed sufficiently. There was a commitment and an audit of the executive was not done,” she said in an interview with Power FM on Thursday night.
Although she welcomed the audits, Pandor said the ANC should not be portrayed as a corrupt organisation as there were many people who were not involved in corrupt activities. She said there were also party members who had been “a disgrace” and should be dealt with by the law.
“But to try and cast everyone in the ANC, leader or member, as being guilty [of corruption] is absolutely wrong,” Pandor said.
She said she believed that should anyone in government be found to be acting outside the law, there must be sanctions and people should know that “the law will bite”. Pandor also stood firm that she had nothing to hide and her record spoke for itself.
“I believe that if anyone looks into my background and in fact I am ready for a lifestyle audit. [If] you look into my background [and] my work, you will not find that I have stolen anyone’s money, not a cent, nor misused it in any way,” she said.
“I believe what we should have is the individual conduct of each person must be of integrity and honesty, particularly leaders.”