*** This story has been updated ***
Johannesburg - ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has described the allegations made against top ANC politicians at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture as startling.
This comes after five days of testimony by former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi who implicated ANC leaders and government officials in receiving monthly bribes from the controversial facilities management company in exchange for contracts and political protection, including Environment Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and ANC MP Vincent Smith.
Magashule was addressing the media on Tuesday, where he outlined the outcomes of the party’s annual national executive committee (NEC) Lekgotla, which is aimed at assessing the progress in the implementation of ANC policies in government.
He said the party has reiterated its support for the commission and its call for more people to approach it with information.
“The commission, by virtue of its mandate, will deal with difficult matters, but this is inevitable if we want to unearth the truth,” Magashule said.
On Monday, Agrizzi detailed how Mokonyane received millions for over a decade in monthly bribes of R50 000 cash from Bosasa, including Christmas gifts that included expensive and large amounts of alcohol and meat.
Bosasa was also requested to cater for ANC rallies, according to Agrizzi.
Magashule has however called on the commission to hear all sides, adding that the party would not rush to take action on comment on the specific allegations against its leaders as they were not yet tested or fully corroborated.
“The ANC maintains its position that it will not be giving running commentary on the work of the commission, but will make submissions at appropriate times,” Magashule said.
Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said while the revelations at the commission would damage the ANC’s brand ahead of the upcoming general elections, it would force the party to ensure that better systems are put in place to curb the abuse of power at State institutions.
“Yes, it will have a negative impact on the ANC but this is what we believe as the ANC should happen. In the 25 years in government there are good things that have been done by the government of the ANC. There are thing that have not gone right within that period.
"Part of the discussion that took place in the lekgotla was that the ANC in government has to make sure that it strengthens the institutions of government so that nobody, neither a member of the NEC or a member of the ANC…, you shouldn’t find yourself being able to abuse those institutions and the ANC discovering very late that actually there has been abuse in the process,” she said.
Other issues tackled by Magashule included the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank's (Sarb) and its private shareholders.
Magashule said the lekgotla reaffirmed the independence of the institution.
"The Sarb must pursue flexible monetary policy regime, and without sacrificing price stability, ensure that monetary policy takes into account other objectives such as employment creation and economic growth," he said.
The lekgotla took note of the work-in-progress on sustainable and radical land reform and agriculture, he said, including the "processes started in 2018 on the constitutional amendment to section 25, the expropriation bill, speeding up outstanding land resolution claims; the package of agricultural support and land to small scale and emerging farmers as part of the economic recovery package; tenure security, and advancing women’s access to land and participation in agriculture and rural economies".
"The lekgotla reaffirmed education, health and skills as critical to economic development and sustainable growth. The country needs a healthy and skilled workforce for a productive economy and active citizenship. Education and health must remain apex priorities and must be considered as an investment and not a consumption from an economic perspective," Magashule said.
"The lekgotla agreed that we would ask government to fast-track social infrastructure, particularly schools, clinics, water and sanitation reticulation and the construction and maintenance of community assets."
Magashule said that the lekgotla emphasised the ANC's call for data to fall to enable citizens and businesses to participate in the digital revolution.
* Read more on the #StateCaptureInquiry here.
Politics Hub and African News Agency (ANA)