ANC leader pledges to re­store cred­i­bil­ity af­ter graft scan­dals

The Gulf Today - - WORLD -

CAPE TOWN: The new head of South Africa’s rul­ing ANC, Cyril Ramaphosa, pledged on Satur­day to “re­store the cred­i­bil­ity” of the party af­ter a spate of cor­rup­tion scan­dals in­volv­ing Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma.

Zuma was re­placed as party chief by his deputy Ramaphosa in De­cem­ber, with the new leader fac­ing an up­hill task to re­cover pub­lic sup­port for Africa’s old­est lib­er­a­tion move­ment ahead of elec­tions in 2019.

“We must re­store the in­tegrity and cred­i­bil­ity of the ANC,” said Ramaphosa, 65, in his irst ma­jor ad­dress to the party at a rally for the African Na­tional Congress’s 106th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions.

“The move­ment has be­come deeply di­vided through fac­tion­al­ism, pa­tron­age, cor­rup­tion and com­pe­ti­tion for re­sources,” said the former trade union­ist who led talks to end white-mi­nor­ity rule in the early 1990s and then be­came a multi-mil­lion­aire busi­ness­man be­fore re­turn­ing to pol­i­tics.

“We are going to con­front cor­rup­tion,” he said, pledg­ing that “the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and pros­e­cu­tion of those re­spon­si­ble (for ma­nip­u­lat­ing the state machin­ery for their own ends) will be given top pri­or­ity.”

The graft-tainted Zuma also at­tended the meet­ing and drew whis­tles from the crowd.

This week Zuma an­nounced a probe into top-level cor­rup­tion af­ter par­lia­ment said it would de­lib­er­ate on pro­ce­dures for im­peach­ment.

Cor­rup­tion­al­le­ga­tion­shave­tar­nished Zuma’s im­age and eroded his sup­port base, with the be­lea­guered leader fac­ing grow­ing pres­sure to re­sign be­fore his pres­i­den­tial term ends next year.

Back in 2014, Zuma failed to abide by rec­om­men­da­tions made by the an­ti­cor­rup­tion watch­dog over $15 mil­lion (12.5 mil­lion eu­ros) of tax­payer-funded re­fur­bish­ments at his home in the eastern Kwazulu-na­tal prov­ince.

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