Hanekom, who is under fire from the ANC for his tweets in the build-up to the no-confidence motion against President Jacob Zuma in Parliament recently, said he won’t be “intimidated by threats and letters” from speaking out about wrongdoings in the ruling party.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe recently wrote to Hanekom, saying he should motivate why he shouldn’t be removed as chairperson of the ANC’s national disciplinary committee.
On Saturday Hanekom, who is suspected to have voted with the opposition for Zuma’s removal, would not discuss the matter, save to say that he would be responding to Mantashe’s letter.
Hanekom was speaking during a youth themed event on state capture organised by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, among others in the south of Johannesburg.
He slammed those implicated in grand-scale corruption and state capture.
“If you’re not representing the interests of the poorest of the poor and the marginalised young people, then you don’t deserve to be in a position of power and have the title of being a political leader,” he said.
He said the R100 billion lost to state capture could have built 1 million low-cost houses for the poor.
Hanekom said there was a need for a “leadership change” that would address the challenges dogging the country.
“We are in recession, it’s a very serious situation that we find ourselves in.
"We believe millions of South Africans are horrified and deeply opposed to what’s happening in our country.
"We have to collectively say 'no'.”
Also speaking at the same event, former deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas said for the past 10 years the government had not been able to grow the country’s economy, which is Africa’s largest and most industrialised.
He called for a strong and credible state “to play the role that it’s supposed to play in the economy and the debate about state capture becomes very important”.
Jonas told his mainly young audience that a state with credible leadership inspired confidence across society.
“It has to convince the different sectors of society (but) we have seen over the years the erosion of credibility within the state.”
He lashed out at the “political project” which sought to undermine and weaken state institutions and ensure that key decisions within government “are driven from outside the state (with the aim to) build what many people call a shadow state”.
“In order to do that you have to ensure that in key positions within the state, you have leaders that are pliant We have seen that happening over and over again.”
State capture, said Jonas, “is a formula for the economic ruin of this country. If we let it continue, history will judge us harshly”.
Zuma’s personal friends, the Guptas, are accused of capturing key state institutions and of having undue influence in the appointment of top cabinet ministers.
A trove of e-mails dubbed the #GuptaLeaks have laid bare serious allegations of corruption against the immigrant Indian family.
Jonas said the country needed a strong leadership who would grow and transform the economy.
“You cannot manage the economy with slogans.
"Those who aspire to be presidents in this country go around shouting slogans,” he said, urging people to “think beyond the ANC”.
Former AU Commission chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who wants to succeed Zuma (her ex-husband) when he steps down as ANC leader in December, has centred her campaign on the radical economic transformation phenomenon.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who also wants the top job, has been campaigning around rooting out corruption and growing the economy.