ANC's Integrity Commission is toothless – John Steenhuisen

DA Leader says Ramaphosa must jail corrupt cadres and not just give them a slap on the wrist

President Ramaphosa, corrupt cadres must be jailed, not given a harsher slap on the wrist

23 August 2020

Note to Editors: Please find attached English soundbite from John Steenhuisen MP.

In a lengthy 7-page letter by President Cyril Ramaphosa to all ANC structures this morning, not once is there any mention of the independent, decisive, and urgent investigation and prosecution of party or cabinet members as part of his so called ‘turning point in our fight against corruption’.

This letter is word salad when President Ramaphosa has demonstrated, most recently, that corrupt cadres continue to be rewarded within his party, and not removed from their positions and punished in accordance with the law of the country.

Just this week, former Mayor of Ethekwini, Zandile Gumede, who was removed from her position last year in the face of a litany of tender corruption charges to the value of R400 million, was sworn in as a member of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature costing the taxpayer R1.1 million per year.

Similarly, ANC Secretary General, Ace Magashule, faced no consequences following the awarding of Covid-19 supply procurement tenders to his two sons, Tshepiso and Thato, to the value of R2,7 million.

This further demonstrates that the ANC’s Integrity Commission is toothless.

Strengthening it, as President Ramaphosa mentions in his letter, will mean that corrupt cadres will merely receive a harsher slap on the wrist instead of being investigated, prosecuted, and jailed, which is a long overdue outcome for so many members of the ANC and its governments.

President Ramaphosa must lay charges of corruption against his own party members and suspend them immediately, not allow the Integrity Commission to dish out a warning and a reward package.

This is not a turning point in the ANC’s fight against corruption. This is a longer deflection mechanism from the fact that the ANC still cannot and will not deal decisively with its own corruption.

Ramaphosa is paralysed. He remains a spectator to his own party whose corruption has rotted the organisation so deeply, and so insidiously, that it cannot be effectively rooted out without the ANC’s complete self-implosion.

At this stage, the cost of truly dealing with the ANC’s corruption, is the purge of the entire party - something which Cyril Ramaphosa still will not risk at the expense of his country. It is once again, the ANC over South Africa. We have seen this movie before, President Ramaphosa, and we know how it will end. We are tired.

I will be compiling a list of each and every ANC member and public servant facing allegations of corruption in the coming week which I will submit to the President, and which the Democratic Alliance will track very closely to see just how serious President Ramaphosa alleges he has become in the fight against his party’s corruption.

I myself have instructed DA Councillors this week to lay charges of theft and fraud against Mayors and Municipal Managers of municipalities which have defaulted on their Eskom bills, yet continue to receive payment of rates from residents. South Africans cannot continue to pay for services they never receive because of money stolen by greedy ANC cadres.

President Ramaphosa may have drawn a line in the sand on this issue, but South Africa knows that this line has been moved time and time again with every empty promise made.

When the ANC says it ‘dips its head in shame’ over corrupt members, it is really burying its head in the sand and hoping that South Africa will forget what it has done.

We have not forgotten how your party and its members continue to ravage our country, President Ramaphosa, and we are tired of your dithering and hesitance. Suspend and prosecute your cadres as promised. Anything less is merely more talk and less action from a Spectator President.

Issued by John Steenhuisen, Leader of the Democratic Alliance, 23 August 2020