ANC must take a firm stand on all cor­rup­tion

CityPress - - Voices -

Deal­ing with per­cep­tions can be as im­por­tant as deal­ing with re­al­ity when you’re fight­ing cor­rup­tion. And the ANC seems to have re­alised this. Its spokesper­son, Zizi Kodwa, told jour­nal­ists this week: “The is­sue of cor­rup­tion is dam­ag­ing the in­tegrity of the ANC, even if there are al­le­ga­tions that are fac­tu­ally in­cor­rect.”

So the party set up an in­tegrity com­mis­sion in 2012 that would act against mem­bers and lead­ers ac­cused of wrong­do­ing, whether they had been con­victed in court or not. The rea­son­ing was that court cases could drag on for years and, by the time there was a ver­dict, the ANC’s rep­u­ta­tion would have been dam­aged.

This was a sober de­par­ture from those heady days when loy­al­ists in­sisted that then party deputy Ja­cob Zuma was in­no­cent un­til proven guilty on cor­rup­tion charges.

In­cred­i­bly, Zuma has sur­vived even as more con­tro­ver­sies, in­clud­ing Nkandla, bedevil him.

The ANC com­mend­ably dropped for­mer com­mu­ni­ca­tions min­is­ter Dina Pule from its par­lia­men­tary lists after she mis­used state funds to ben­e­fit her lover.

But with no con­stituency, she was easy to dis­pense with. But when the in­tegrity com­mis­sion starts ask­ing hard ques­tions of a popular, if flawed, youth leader such as Pule Mabe, it is be­ing met with re­sis­tance from the same party that is dis­put­ing the body’s re­port on Mabe.

Sim­i­larly, a provin­cial struc­ture of the ANC, the North­ern Cape, has erupted in anger after the com­mis­sion found against its chair­per­son, John Block.

The ANC now has a choice. Does it al­low its struc­tures to be dele­git­imised be­cause it is prob­ing too deeply? Or does it al­low the in­tegrity com­mis­sion to follow in the foot­steps of the ju­di­ciary, the Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor and all those who have been at­tacked for do­ing their work?

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