The ANC integrity commission is fighting back against allegations that it was being used to target certain leaders of the party, amid factional battles in the organisation.
On Sunday, the commission’s chairperson George Mashamba said their work was above board.
The body’s role and effectiveness have been under the spotlight after Deputy President David Mabuza postponed his swearing in as a parliamentarian to meet the commission after he was flagged as one of the 22 leaders who had brought the governing party into disrepute.
Mabuza, along with other leaders, had been asked to withdraw his name from the party’s parliamentary list to the National Assembly.
But after a meeting with the commission, Mabuza appeared to have been cleared and was subsequently sworn in as an MP and appointed deputy president last week.
The Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association on Sunday accused the body of ill-treating some of its leaders when they appeared before it last week. This included its president Kebby Maphatsoe.
However, Mashamba rejected the claims, arguing that the work of the ANC elders was above board.
“There are terms of reference which guide our work, and if there is any individual who is unhappy with the outcome, they can appeal to the national executive committee (NEC), which makes the final decision,” Mashamba said.
Ahead of the elections, the commission was tasked with combing the ANC candidates lists to Parliament and the provincial legislatures, and it recommended that a number of ANC leaders recuse themselves due to various allegations against them.
But the ANC did not publicly release the report, nor did it instruct the accused leaders to step aside, as recommended by the commission.
Mashamba said the body could not reveal the outcomes of its work, as it was working at the behest and on a mandate of the NEC.
“We do not communicate the outcomes of our work to the media because we do our work for the NEC and it is the NEC that must decide what it does with it. We don’t communicate it,” Mashamba said.
He said none of those who appeared had raised issues about how their hearings were conducted.
“I am not going to respond to things that are being said in the media. I have not heard anything from the MKMVA or Mr Maphatsoe. I do not know anything about those complaints,” Mashamba said.
A former military veterans deputy minister, Maphatsoe accused the commission of running a well-constructed factional programme.
In an interview with Independent Media, Maphatsoe said he learnt that he’d be called to the commission by Thabang Makwetla after MK Council, another body of former Umkhonto weSizwe veterans, reported him to the commission.
“Thabang Makwetla told me that he reported me to the integrity commission. I don’t mind that but would’ve liked the commission to interview me on the complaint and not seek to settle personal or political scores.
"How can a man who is implicated in receiving 'gifts' from Bosasa report me? Since the commission had nothing to pin me on, they resorted to accusing me of incompetence while I was the deputy minister.
"Andrew Mlangeni asked me why the minister (Nosiviwe Mapisa Nqakula) removed some responsibilities from me and how I lost my arm in the camps in exile. Does that question my integrity; and why now?” asked Maphatsoe.
Makwetla denied that he had approached the commission over Maphatsoe. “That's ridiculous. He knows exactly why he was called,” he said.
MKMVA spokesperson Carl Niehaus said the association was unhappy with the commission as it appeared to be factionally targeting individual leaders.