Unchecked corruption will destroy ANC, warns Ramaphosa
Durban - With the perception of corruption, both in the ruling party and the country, being seen as a growing challenge, President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned party members that the scourge will destroy the ANC if it is not dealt with.
He said what has made the corruption challenge worse than before was that those who wanted to use their power to amass wealth through corrupt means were even more determined to pursue influential positions.
Ramaphosa sounded this warning while addressing a Raymond Mhlaba memorial lecture in Vryheid on Sunday. He pleaded with members to emulate people like Mhlaba, who worked for the people instead of working to accumulate wealth for themselves.
“The unbridled contestation within our ranks for public resources and the graft that has become commonplace in many of our public institutions must present a great threat to the advancement of our national democratic revolution. These undermine economic and social development; they also erode democratic practices; they disempower our citizens and weaken the national liberation movement,” Ramaphosa said.
He added that graft and the associated phenomenon of state capture were obstacles to the achievement of radical economic transformation. Additionally, Ramaphosa told the about 5000 party members who came to listen to him that corruption also hindered implementation of broad-based black economic empowerment and development of small and medium enterprises.
“Corruption has also weakened the ANC and its allies, and if we do not do something about it, corruption will ultimately also destroy the ANC. We need to be taking steps to do this, and we are already seeing a lot of progress that we are making within our own ranks. This also calls for concerted efforts for structures and leaders in our movement.
“It requires that we examine our behaviour and act only in the interest of the people of South Africa. This means that we defend and embrace all the values that Oom Ray (Mhlaba) stood for and lived for. We must emulate the honesty, the humility, the discipline and the passion for the people that truly defined the way Oom Ray approached issues of leadership,” he added.
Ramaphosa also pleaded with party members to embrace unity, saying a divided ANC would never be able to deliver for the people of the country.
The calls came as cracks within the ruling party continue to widen, with a faction within it saying Ramaphosa should be removed from his position at the party’s national general council in July, because he was failing to implement radical economic transformation.
“Our Nasrec conference gave us a task to unite the ANC, and we must renew the ANC,” he said, adding that there were some in the ruling party who thrived on factionalism.