Zuma slams ANC audits
‘Party at forefront of fighting graft’
PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has lashed out at those who called for implementation of lifestyle audits in the top echelons of the ANC, despite two of the party’s top six insisting on their importance.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe announced the move towards such audits in October, following the party’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting.
“The NEC has called for the introduction of ad hoc lifestyle audits for political leaders and public servants.
“The NEC has also directed that all allegations of corruption must be responded to and clarified as soon as they arise,” Mantashe said at the time.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa used the commemoration of the 22nd anniversary of the death of SACP leader Joe Slovo earlier this month to criticise leaders fingered for corruption.
Ramaphosa called for lifestyle audits to be implemented across the ANC leadership.
But yesterday at the ANC’s provincial January 8 rally in Burgersfort in Limpopo yesterday, Zuma said leaders requesting such audits must “behave properly”, as the movement had pulled out all the stops to fight corruption, which he said was “not a problem brought by us”.
The president also highlighted the importance of the upcoming elective conference, where he is expected to step down as ANC leader in December, saying members should elect leaders who had a proven track record and were capable of unifying the divided movement.
The ANC, said Zuma, existed to serve the people, “not ourselves”.
But the first task was to unite the alliance and South Africans in order to create a better life for all, he said.
Zuma, who is viewed as supporting his ex-wife and outgoing AU Commission chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to succeed him as president over Ramaphosa, said no amount of conferences should divide the party.
The ANC, labour federation Cosatu and SACP leaders must not be party to the weakening of the alliance, he said.
Cosatu and some unions have openly endorsed Ramaphosa to take over from Zuma, saying the ANC tradition in which the deputy succeeded the president needed to be followed. Zuma has said this was not a policy or accepted tradition of the ANC. He has also stated that the country was ready for a female president, and this was viewed as a tacit endorsement for DlaminiZuma.
Yesterday, Zuma appealed to those calling for lifestyle audits to “behave properly” and conduct themselves in an orderly manner, to focus on the ANC tasks at hand and not themselves.
Appearing unperturbed and in a jovial mood, Zuma said the ANC-led government had put many programmes in place to help root out crime and corruption and to promote good ethics throughout the public sector.
“It is the ANC that waged the war, together with the alliance, to fight corruption in South Africa. It has also gone further to establish institutions in government and it has arrested those who are corrupt.
“It is the only organisation and its government… that has fought corruption,” the president said.
He added that the upcoming national elective conference would provide the ruling party with the opportunity to renew itself. “We must be prepared to choose leaders who have demonstrated the desire to serve our people.
“The issue of electing a national leadership is serious business,” he said, and called for the process not to be reduced to electing leaders who “toyi-toyied” the most.
“The time for (nominating) names for December has not come. I know, however, that people are already lobbying for their preferred candidates. It’s not yet the time… First, let’s discuss our programmes and policies before choosing who must lead,” said Zuma.
He also called on ANC cadres to build strong community structures in anticipation of the 2019 national elections.
Zuma said malpractices such as gatekeeping, vote-buying and manipulation of internal processes must stop from the branch level.
These ills have been cited as among factors which contributed to the ANC’s electoral decline during last year’s municipal elections, where it lost control of the three crucial metros of Joburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay.
“Correcting our mistakes must not just be mere talk. I have no fear that the ANC will win in 2019, because it’s on the side of the people and God is on our side. We can’t lose,” Zuma told the throngs of ANC supporters. - Additional reporting by Shain Germaner @luyolomkentane
LEADERS of the ANC are this week wrapping up their investigation into the manipulation of list processes in the Western Cape ahead of last August’s municipal polls.
ANC provincial organiser for the probe Richard Dyantyi said yesterday the process was entering its final leg this week.
“The NEC (ANC’s national executive committee) has been with us since October investigating this matter.
“They have been going to the branches in different regions and sitting down with affected members to hear each one’s side of the story,” he pointed out.
The ANC has deployed several senior NEC members to the Western Cape, including Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and his deputy Joe Phaahla, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa and Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.
Dyantyi said the party leaders wanted to get to the bottom of the manipulation of the list process.
He said the leaders would compile a report after they finished their work this week.
“A decision was taken last year that there should be an investigation into whether there was manipulation of the list process and what steps should be taken afterwards.
“A lot of work has been done thus far,” he said.
Weeks before the August 3 elections, the ANC in various provinces was rocked by angry protests by its members, who challenged the nomination processes for the election of proportional representatives and ward councillors.
In the Western Cape, members threatened to boycott the elections if their preferred candidate was not placed on the list.
Provincial leaders were at pains to explain that just because a certain candidate was a favourite when nominated during branch meetings, their ranking on the list might change after being scrutinised during public hearings.
NEC members including Motshekga, Phaahla, Mthethwa, Nomaindia Mfeketo, Jackson Mthembu, Pinky Mokoto, Rosinah Semenya and Motsoaledi will this week conclude hearings into the matter before compiling a report.
The delegation has been meeting with various branch chairpersons and their secretaries to discuss the disputes relating to the alleged amendments and manipulation of the lists, as well as establish the role played by members who formed part of the regional list conference in the alleged offences.
The SACP in the Western Cape was critical of the provincial executive committee and called on national leaders to intervene in the matter.
At the time, the party expressed concern that branch structures in the province were still plagued by what it called destructive factional tendencies and used elections to favour those in their camp.