Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu, at the ANC's Luthuli house offices in Johannesburg. Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency (ANA)
Johannesburg - Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu says revelations of alleged criminality against ANC leaders at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture would dent the party’s brand ahead of the upcoming general election.

Zulu was part of the ANC’s top brass, led by secretary-general Ace Magashule, who addressed the media on Tuesday to outline the outcomes of the party’s lekgotla held on Sunday and Monday.

Former chief operations officer of Bosasa Angelo Agrizzi has been on the stand at the commission since last week, dropping bombshells on how - for years - Bosasa lined the pockets of top ANC politicians and government officials with lucrative bribes in exchange for contracts and protection from the law.

The implicated politicians thus far include Environment Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, ANC MP Vincent Smith and other members of Parliament.

Zulu said while the revelations would be detrimental to the ANC’s electoral prospects, they were necessary if the party was to correct its wrongs.

“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,” Zulu said.

“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 discovers very late that actually there has been abuse in the process,” Zulu said.

Magashule described the allegations by Agrizzi as startling.

He said the ANC would however not hastily try and save its image by asking its implicated leaders to step aside from their leadership positions.

“Allegations are allegations, because tomorrow we can peddle a story about you. Are we going to ask you to step aside from your work as the media?

“Let us respect the universal principle ‘of innocent until proven guilty’,” Magashule said.

He said while the commission was respected and supported by the ANC, it was not a court of law.

Magashule, acting national spokesperson Dakota Legoete and head of Presidency Zizi Kodwa have all defended the party’s right to ask the private sector for financial assistance in its gatherings, including for catering.

Kodwa said while he did not speak on behalf of Mokonyane or in direct response to Agrizzi’s testimony, the party’s leadership would be irresponsible if it did not try and ensure members received food at the party’s rallies, including at its recent 107th anniversary rally in Durban where more than 100000 members and supporters attended. 

Political Bureau