Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa used the governing party’s final rally to send a stern warning that leaders found guilty of corruption and state capture would not be appointed to his Cabinet after the elections on Wednesday.
On Sunday, the ANC and the EFF held their final rallies in the country’s economic heartland, Gauteng, which is being hotly contested.
On Saturday, the DA held its final rally at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto.
Ramaphosa told thousands of ANC supporters gathered at the Ellis Park Stadium for the party’s Siyanqoba rally that they would “fight with every measure at our disposal to ensure that those who occupy positions of authority serve only the public interest”.
This came as a number of senior party leaders face allegations of wrongdoing. They include Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and Minister in the Presidency Bathabile Dlamini, who appear high on the list of candidates the party is sending to Parliament.
Ramaphosa said his party and its supporters were committed to clean governance, noting that ANC members had given him a mandate to renew the ANC and to fight corruption.
“Let us declare that we will never surrender our freedom to corruption and state capture. We will not submit and retreat. We will fight with every measure at our disposal to ensure that those who occupy positions of authority serve only the public interest,” Ramaphosa said.
“The ANC is determined to ensure that those found guilty of corruption and state capture will not be able to get positions in the party, government and Parliament,” he added.
Ramaphosa said he had been doing all he could to undo the paralysis that was caused at the South African Revenue Service during the tenure of disgraced former commissioner Tom Moyane, among others.
“Our determination to fight against corruption was a mandate from our national conference in December 2017. We are going to fight against corruption despite stern opposition from those who benefited from state capture.
“The Zondo Commission is busy unravelling the nature of the state capture in the National Prosecuting Authority, Sars, police and State Security Agency. We are going to hold them accountable and to respect the rule of law,” Ramaphosa said.
He further said that during state capture, those who held positions of authority in government and state institutions did so for their own personal interests.
“We are in the era of accountability. We are in the era of consequence management. We are in the era of renewal and stability,” Ramaphosa said.
In his bid to woo young voters and graduates, Ramaphosa has now increased his target of investment in the country. He initially set a target of R1trillion but now, on the eve of the elections, he has increased the figure to R1.4trillion.
He said his motive was to create job opportunities for young people.
“We want to grow the economy of the country for the benefit of all. We want to attract R1.4trillion investment in our country.
"It has never been done before in South Africa. We are going to do it. We are determined to build factories, mines, call centres and job opportunities for young people.
“We want to ensure that agriculture becomes the sunrise factor in the economy and to create jobs for our people,” Ramaphosa said.
EFF leader Julius Malema said his party had asserted itself in the country’s body politic over the past five years and that South Africa’s future could no longer be decided without the EFF.
Malema was addressing the EFF’s Tshela Thupa rally at Orlando Stadium in Soweto yesterday.
Speaking to thousands of supporters who filled the stadium, Malema said many had tried to undermine the red berets when they first contested the elections in 2014, soon after the party's establishment.
“They thought we were a Mickey Mouse organisation. Now they have realised we are a force to be reckoned with. You cannot talk about the future of South Africa without the EFF. We are the future of South Africa,” he said.
Malema added the ANC was so threatened by the growing power and influence of the EFF that Ramaphosa had offered him and his deputy Floyd Shivambu ministerial posts after he had taken over from Jacob Zuma as head of state.
Malema said they had both declined the offers. “If we are going to serve in the Cabinet, it will be because of EFF votes; we do not need favours. We are going to the Union Buildings. The red flag is going to fly high at the Union Buildings,” Malema said.
The Presidency has rejected this allegation, but Malema challenged Ramaphosa to personally deny that he made the offer to the two EFF leaders.
“I never said ‘The Presidency’, I said ‘Ramaphosa’. Let him answer and lie, he will know who I am. Why would I go around saying Ramaphosa offered us Cabinet posts when he has not done so?” Malema asked to applause from the jubilant crowd.
Addressing thousands of cheering supporters at the DA’s final “Phetogo” rally at Dobsonville Stadium, Maimane said he was "angry because leaders elected to lead us ended up stealing from us".
"What’s most offensive is that they stole from the poor. They took money that was meant to make life livable for our most vulnerable citizens and stuck it in their pockets.
"The ANC were once the leaders in the Struggle for freedom, but today they stand directly in the way of freedom for millions of South Africans.
“They were once a movement, but today they are a monument - a mere relic of the past. They were once our liberators, but today we need to be liberated from them. That is why I’m angry,’’ he said.
"We are on borrowed time in this country, using borrowed money. But all things borrowed eventually run out. We will run out of diesel at the end of the elections, and the lights will go out. And we will certainly run out of money at a growth rate of just 0.8%. Life is getting hard for citizens.
“VAT is up, fuel is up, and the cost of living is going up. We are in deep trouble.
“We’re beyond the point where we can say, ‘your side of the boat is leaking’. All of us are now drowning." Additional reporting by African News Agency