Johannesburg – The Integrity Commission (IC) has released a report on the engagement that it had with the ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa last month via a Zoom meeting.
The IC requested the interview with the president with the main purpose of soliciting and exchanging views with the president on funding for campaigns for individuals seeking to hold office in the ANC.
The IC first requested to meet with Ramaphosa in 2018 when the issue of Bosasa and the CR17 Campaign funds first arose.
According to the IC’s report, “The use of such allegedly huge sums of money for individual leadership campaigns was a departure from the internal democratic procedures of the organisation and was having a negative impact on the organisation.”
Ramaphosa managed to evade this engagement, citing it was a legal matter and did not feel it was right to have such discussions until the legal proceedings were done.
The IC said in a statement, “The IC pursued the matter of meeting with the president and requested over an eighteen month period to meet with the President several times both verbally and in writing. It did not sit well with the IC that the president especially, but also the officials, continually referred publicly to the importance of the IC and the work that
was being done, but in reality there was little to no interaction.”
The Chairperson of the Commission, George Mashamba, was finally able to welcome the President on 19t November 2020 to discuss the use of money for Individual leadership campaigns within the organisation.
Report on meeting
“Whilst the President expressed the wish to deal with the CR17 Campaign, its nature,
organisation and governance, the Integrity Commission made it clear that in this
meeting the IC did not want to discuss the CR17 campaign. The ANC conference resolution was taken in Dec 2017 and cannot be implemented retrospectively.”
The IC said it strongly recommends that if any member has irrefutable evidence ofthe buying of votes subsequent to the 2017 Conference, it must be brought to the notice of the Disciplinary Committee as a matter of urgency.
“The issue of the use of money in buying votes especially in relation to leadership
positions, keeps arising both in the media and in the public arena. It is obvious to
the Commission that this issue is becoming increasingly divisive and is being used as
an instrument to further factional divisions at all levels of the organisation. This is
damaging the reputation of the organisation,” the IC said.
The IC further stated that the president accepted this approach and offered to send a 69 page presentation he had prepared for the IC, which he unfortunately has not done so to date.
In the course of the discussion many other issues were touched upon such as:
The officials neither defending nor implementing Conference resolutions
The buying of votes in AGMs The matter of fundraising for the ANC
The matter of judicial morality and political morality
The legitimacy of the forthcoming NGC and National Conference given the doubtful legitimacy of some ANC branches and other structures
The perceived lack of commitment by the leadership to the promise of renewal of and in the ANC
The importance of the syllabus of the political education school in the life of the organisation and the calibre of the comrades who are products of the school.
The issue of those comrades who refuse to comply with the conference resolution to step aside in the face of criminal charges
The necessity for a common vision and understanding about where the ANC is supposed to be going, to ensure commitment to a common cause
Concerns in relation to the lack of structure of the Youth League and unsuccessful attempts to solve the problems
Entertaining of comrades who bypass the structures of the ANC to organise themselves into pressure groups, thereby possibly leading to parallel structures
ANC leaders, their families and friends doing business with government
Lack of consequence management by leadership throughout the organisation
The president said that the ANC needs to accept that campaigning is part of the modern way in which political parties operate but it has to be regulated. He explained that contestation became an issue in the organisation after the dawn of democracy.
Ramaphosa said that the organisation is facing enormous challenges and as it is now, divisions are running deep.
The task of unifying the organisation is paramount if we are to serve our people and increase our support to well beyond 50%.
“We must never forget that we exist in the interests of the people of South Africa and therefore we must put their interest ahead of our own interest. We’ve got to continue trying everything we can to unite our organisation, to renew it and to deal with the challenges we are facing as an organisation. That is the only way we can serve the interests of the people of our country. The President once again expressed his gratitude for the opportunity of appearing before the IC. He has gathered a few insights and it is his opinion that there’s a lot of work the IC should continue to do.”
“The discussion was honest, frank and productive. Despite the purpose of the
meeting which was essentially to discuss the use of money for individual leadership
campaigns, other issues were discussed as reflected above,” the IC statement concluded.
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