ANC outraged, embarrassed at looting of Covid-19 funds, says Magashule
Johannesburg – The ANC says it is “outraged and deeply embarrassed” by acts of corruption allegedly committed by some of its members and leaders in Covid-19 procurement across the country.
In a statement issued by party’s secretary-general, Ace Magashule, on Tuesday following the national executive committee (NEC) meeting, he said they agreed during their meeting over the weekend that they should put up a fight against the scourge.
The condemnation comes as some senior leaders like Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku, his wife, Loyiso Masuku, and presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko, among others, are currently embroiled in Covid-19 procurement scandals.
There are also widespread Covid-19-related scandals in KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and in the Free State.
“The ANC is outraged and deeply embarrassed by recent allegations that some, including its own leaders and members, has sought to benefit unlawfully from the devastating suffering and impoverishment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“These developments cause us collectively to dip our heads in shame and to humble ourselves before the people.
“We acknowledge the justifiable public outrage caused by the depravity and heartlessness displayed by some elements in government, our organisation and the private sector,” said Magashule.
“We unequivocally condemn all forms of corruption, dishonesty and state capture involving the public and private sectors, including collusion, price-fixing, tender fraud, bribery, illicit financial flows, illegal imports and misuse of tax havens. We will comprehensively fight corruption, combining both prevention and punishment.
“Those who loot public resources must face the might of the law. Corruption has devastating consequences for our economy and society, impacting on the integrity of our institutions and our leaders and undermining the very moral and ethical basis of our young democracy.
“Ethical and moral leadership, in both the public and private sector, will be critical if our collective fight against corruption is to succeed.
“Leaders and members of the ANC are expected to set an example to society by displaying the highest levels of integrity and revolutionary consciousness,” he said.
He added that the moral standing of the ANC has been severely damaged by the conduct of some of its members, whom he said do not deserve to be within their ranks.
“We are committed to draw a clear line between our organisation and those who steal from the people, thereby subverting the very essence and reason for the ANC’s existence as a servant of the people.”
The meeting also discussed the feasibility of the country having an income grant. If passed, the grant would see unemployed South Africans between the ages of 18 and 59 getting monthly grants of R500.
This is meant to cushion them against the effects of poverty that has been made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The NEC received an update on ongoing work by the NEC social transformation sub-committee regarding the feasibility of a basic income grant, in the context of deepening poverty, inequality, and food insecurity faced by millions of South Africans.
“The NEC welcomed the work done to date, and urged the social transformation and economic transformation committees to meet urgently to conclude the feasibility study and to report to the NEC.
“A consultation process will also be continued with social partners including NEDLAC (National Economic Development and Labour Council) to ensure that the engagements also take place within the ambit of the comprehensive social security discussions that have been taking place at NEDLAC,” Magashule said.