Today in the Sunday Times, ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe, confirmed what all South Africans already know: that the ANC would rather look after its corrupt cronies, than stamp out corruption in our country. He conceded that Carl Niehaus was employed despite the fact that the ANC knew of his corruption.
Mantashe's comments rubbish the ANC's stated commitment in its 2009 election manifesto to "stamp out corruption" and to "step up measures in the fight against corruption in society, including measures to ensure politicians do not tamper with the adjudication of tenders." It is precisely this kind of corruption that Niehaus is alleged to have committed. He reportedly forged the signatures of at least four Gauteng MEC's in order to obtain a loan from a private company, based on the expectation that this would lead the Provincial Government to look favourably at the company concerned when it came to awarding provincial contracts.
Mantashe by his own admission has stated that the ANC "knew there were question marks about his background" and that there were doubts about Niehaus' probity and ethics, yet it still insisted on employing him on the basis that it believes in "assisting cadres of the movement who have gone through difficult periods". It is also telling that Mantashe has directly contradicted the ANC's stated intention to "stamp out" corruption by admitting that the organisation does not have a zero tolerance approach to corruption, but insisting that instead of punishing people guilty of corruption, "they must be assisted to stand up".
Mantashe's are the clearest indication of why corruption has become endemic in South Africa under the ANC. The party cannot distinguish right from wrong, and is all too easily prone to excusing criminal acts on the basis that members of the ANC should be held to a different and lower moral standard from the rest of South Africa . It is precisely this attitude that has allowed corruption to flourish in all levels of government in South Africa , the price of which is paid by ordinary South Africans, because where corruption is endemic, the poor get poorer.
Statement issued by Democratic Alliance CEO Ryan Coetzee MP, February 15 2009
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