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Ramaphosa says ANC should have done more to prevent Zuma-era corruption

In highly anticipated testimony to a graft inquiry.
Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday the governing party “could and should” have done more to prevent corruption under his predecessor Jacob Zuma, in highly anticipated testimony to a graft inquiry.

Ramaphosa, Zuma’s former deputy, was appearing in his capacity as current leader of the African National Congress (ANC), a rare case of a sitting president giving evidence on recent alleged wrongdoing by members of his own party.

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The “state capture” inquiry is probing allegations of graft during Zuma’s nine years in power, including that Zuma allowed businessmen close to him – brothers Atul, Ajay and Rajesh Gupta – to influence policy and win lucrative government contracts.

Zuma and the Guptas have repeatedly denied the allegations against them.

Ramaphosa told the inquiry it took time for the ANC to recognise high-level corruption during the period, but that he would not try to “make excuses or to defend the indefensible”. He did not mention Zuma by name.

“We all acknowledge that the organisation could and should have done more to prevent the abuse of power and the misappropriation of resources that defined the era of state capture,” he said.

Ramaphosa added that “corrosive corruption” had hurt the ANC’s support among voters, six months before local government elections at which the party will look to improve on its worst election results since the end of apartheid.

Opposition parties held a gathering outside the building where the inquiry was being held and participants said Ramaphosa should personally shoulder some of the blame.

“Ramaphosa was part and parcel of the decisions. He was the deputy president of the country when money disappeared,” said William Madisha, a lawmaker with small party COPE. “The ANC must pay back what belongs to the people.”

Key test ahead

Ramaphosa, the ANC’s deputy leader from 2012 to 2017 and deputy president from 2014 until 2018, has made the fight against graft one of his calling cards.

After he won a closely fought battle for the ANC leadership against Zuma’s ex-wife in December 2017, his allies in the party engineered Zuma’s ouster, allowing him to take over as head of state in February 2018, before Zuma’s second five-year term was due to end.

He trod cautiously at the start of his presidency as a faction in the ANC remained loyal to Zuma, but has grown increasingly assertive.

At a March meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee, his supporters pushed through tighter disciplinary measures for members implicated in corruption and other serious crimes.

A key test of those stricter rules will be whether Secretary-General Ace Magashule, seen as a Zuma loyalist, vacates his post in the coming days because of corruption charges. Magashule denies the charges but at the end of March the party gave him and others charged with serious crimes a 30-day deadline to “step aside”.

Over several days of testimony at the inquiry, Ramaphosa is expected to be asked what he knew about allegedly corrupt practices while serving alongside Zuma and why he did not act to stop them.

The inquiry was set up during Zuma’s final weeks in office. Zuma appeared at it briefly in 2019 but defied a summons and court order to give more evidence earlier this year. The inquiry’s lawyers are seeking Zuma’s imprisonment as a result.

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He knew nothing.

Like he knew nothing about receiving money from bosassa!

Hahahaaaa. Yes. He???

Oh and I guess he is shocked.

He is always passing the Buck. or hiding behind a working group.

He says corruption is to blame on apartheid???????

Just the same as the other lot!!!

So reminds me of Fawlty Towers that ‘know nothin’ statement, except it’s not at all as funny.

“Shocked” is now a new buzz word to absolve themselves from the shenanigans.

The whole are deep in the muck; but the power they wield will save them from being charged. Just Another day in ‘paradise’.

Tell me again about the the reason for the delay with this Zondo game appearance. But surely the absence of proper investigations and the destruction of evidence can only allow each and every one of the mega corrupt individuals to be exonerated and then justice can be formally given a new brand of blindfold. How about 3 brass monkeys for a logo?

To put control of the legislature in the hands of a communalist voter is like putting a loaded shotgun in the hands of a child. For voters with the victim attitude, freedom leads to enslavement and destruction.

The voting process enables them to express their natural tendencies or mindset, that manifest as corruption, economic decay, plunder, and degradation. If we follow the chain of command and the way in which a democratic system puts the power in the hands of voters, it is clear that the average ANC member is the accused before the Zondo Commission.
It is impossible to rid the ANC of corruption because the ANC represents its supporters. If ANC supporters were incorruptible and ethical, they would have supported the opposition decades ago already.

These promises to end corruption are merely an attempt to stick to power, a ploy to enable further corruption.

“The worship of the state is the worship of force. There is no more dangerous menace to civilization than a government of incompetent, corrupt, or vile men. The worst evils which mankind ever had to endure were inflicted by bad governments. The state can be and has often been in the course of history the main source of mischief and disaster.”

― Ludwig von Mises

Let’s be honest mr. president. Should have, could have doesn’t cut it. You know very well and any thinking South African can see through that. You and your cadres all talk gobbledygook. There is one thing only that counts in your lives. Party unity! That way the party remains in power and the fat cat political elite will live in comfort forever. To hell with the ‘people’ or the citizens. To maintain ‘unity’ you and the party are prepared to give up all integrity, ethics, moral duty etc etc by condoning any criminal acts of theft, fraud or any sort of corruption. There is one and only one way to prevent corruption and that is for there to be CONSEQUENCES. There have been none in the past (except one or two cadres thrown under the bus or given ambassadorships), and there are none at present, and there will never be any. The party is plain generally criminal. Not that this is an exception – they exist all over the world. It’s just the extent that varies. So, no consequences, except for a general ‘we are sorry, promise never to do it again’ absolution of all Zondo Commission confessors in a ‘truth & reconciliation type of arrangement (reading between the lines). Then we will go forward and continue to steal, expropriate etc until we reach Zimbabwe / Venezuela status. By that time the party will be looked after by the new colonialists – the CCP. Junk status confirmed!

Let me venture a wild guess – if Zuma and co was not exposed, CR would still be sitting pretty as deputy president, raking in a huge salary for doing nothing, saying nothing and turning a blind eye, and of course pleading ignorance when confronted with the glaringly obvious happening under his watch. He effectively endorsed what the ANC was doing at the time.

He proved his incompetence as leader and custodian of our democracy and constitution, and should be charged, first and foremost ,with treason.

Meanwhile Ace Magashula is still sitting pretty as the ANC Secretary General. Does Ramaphosa think we are idiots? Clearly, the answer is YES, he does!

Jeepers – what a pathetic statement.

So they rather put a local nincompoop in a position and discriminate against highly qualified currently disadvantaged people??

Then everybody expect this dump of a country to work?????

This dump of a country is then sold as an “Investment Destination” to foreigners (and locals). That is just plain fraud is it not??? If you sell something that does not work and says it does???

Maybe SA is a Voetstoots case.

Lock em all up and through the keys away.

Certainly a lot of hours went into these carefully worded statements.

I still think President Ramaphosa is the right man for the job – just terribly sad that he spends more time unifying the ANC than unifying South Africa. What a waste of his tenure.

The ANC can still do something about it, why won’t they?

The Tax Money plus Mansion is in Dubai.

The testimony matters less than the soon to be expired 30 days Ace has to resign. Interesting times ahead.

ANC era corruption continues and will continue forever.

Whilst they all sat there and voted in confidence for him. Imagine the future leaders growing up with the current education system??

End of comments.

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