Johannesburg – The ANC has reiterated its resolution that members who fail to give an acceptable explanation or to voluntarily step down while they face investigations or prosecution will be summarily suspended.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, delivering the ANC January 8 statement, said the party was going to strengthen its integrity commission to tackle corruption without fear or favour.
The ANC has been in the grip of a debate over the circumstances under which its leaders should step aside since its secretary-general Ace Magashule was arrested in November last year in connection with allegations of corruption related to the R255 million asbestos audit contract in the Free State.
Magashule faces 21 counts of corruption, fraud and money laundering.
He has since indicated that he would not step down in the wake of the charges.
Ramaphosa, speaking on the occasion of the ANC’s 109th virtual birthday celebrations, said the NEC would “soon” finalise the guidelines to implement the party’s resolutions on corruption.
“The organisation has been weakened by corruption, resistance to renewal and controversies involving ANC leaders. These problems have widened the social distance between the ANC and the people. Unless they are resolved, they will have the effect of rendering our society rudderless at a time when firm and principled leadership is required,” he said.
“At the same time, there is a danger that internal conflicts can consume us, and detract from the very real work we need to do to unite and transform our society,” he added.
Ramaphosa said the party was not going to tolerate members involved in crooked practices like vote-buying, branch list manipulation to secure positions, or extending patronage to get votes.
The ANC called on all members to be mindful that they represented an organisation and not themselves, and that “if they are under a cloud of suspicion, conscience dictates that they should present themselves to the organisation voluntarily, without being forced to do so”.
“We will not stand for any member of the ANC bringing our organisation into disrepute,” he said.
Ramaphosa said the party’s priorities this year were defeating Covid-19 through the mass rollout of vaccines, economic reconstruction and renewing the ANC.
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