Newly-elected African National Congress President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday morning, lambasted corruption in government and in the private sector, as he delivered his closing remarks at the 54th national elective conference.
“At the state level we must confront the reality that critical institutions of our state have been targeted by individuals and families who, through the exercise of influence and the manipulation of governance processes and public resources. This has led to the weakening of our State-owned enterprises whose governance structures need to be revamped,” said Ramaphosa shortly after midnight in Johannesburg.
“Whether we call this state capture or simply corruption, this has undermined the integrity of our institutions, cost our economy hundreds of billions of rands and contributed to the further impoverishment of our people.”
Ramaphosa said given these challenges, the ruling party and the newly elected national executive committee of the party have been called upon to act against corruption, collusion and other economic crimes prevalent in the public and private sector.
“We must investigate without fear or favour the so-called ‘accounting irregularities’ that cause turmoil in the markets and wipe billions off the investments of ordinary South Africans. This conference has resolved that this must be acted upon and stopped,” said Ramaphosa to applause from delegates.
“We must also act fearlessly against alleged corruption and abuse of office within our ranks. We embraced the Integrity Commission at our NGC [national general council] and endorsed that decision at the 53rd national conference.”
The setting up of the Integrity Commission is therefore not in question as there is consensus that the Integrity Commission should be supported and empowered to do its work without fear, favour or prejudice in order to restore the Integrity of the ANC and help cultivate and promote ethical leadership
He said the terms of reference including its duties and powers should be discussed and finalised by the NEC.
“This conference has resolved that corruption must be fought with the same intensity and purpose that we fight poverty, unemployment and inequality. Through your deliberations, we have together developed a clear line of march for the movement and for the new leadership,” he said.
“The actions of comrades who are deployed by the movement should always be informed by the interests of our members and our people, not personal gain. Their actions should always be a source of pride, and not a cause for embarrassment.”