Johannesburg – Corrupt ANC cadres must be jailed, not given a harsher slap on the wrist, DA leader John Steenhuisen said in response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s letter to ANC rank and file on Sunday morning.
In the 7-page letter, Ramaphosa said the governing party remained “Accused No1” when it came to corruption and that it now had to publicly disassociate itself from any member, business donor or anyone accused of corruption or reported to be involved in corruption, including the looting of Covid-19 relief funds which he said had created public anger and disillusionment with the party.
“Every cadre accused of, or reported to be involved in, corrupt practices must account to the Integrity Commission immediately or face disciplinary processes. People who fail to give an acceptable explanation or to voluntarily step down while they face disciplinary, investigative or prosecutorial procedures, should be summarily suspended,” Ramaphosa said.
In response Steenhuisen called the letter a “word salad”, the ANC’s Integrity Commission “toothless” and Ramaphosa a “Spectator President”.
“Not once is there any mention of the independent, decisive, and urgent investigation and prosecution of party or cabinet members as part of his so called ‘turning point in our fight against corruption’.
“This letter is word salad when President Ramaphosa has demonstrated, most recently, that corrupt cadres continue to be rewarded within his party, and not removed from their positions and punished in accordance with the law of the country,” the DA leader said.
“President Ramaphosa must lay charges of corruption against his own party members and suspend them immediately, not allow the Integrity Commission to dish out a warning and a reward package,” Steenhuisen said.
The DA leader said that he would be “compiling a list of each and every ANC member and public servant facing allegations of corruption in the coming week” which he will submit to the president, and which the DA “will track very closely to see just how serious President Ramaphosa alleges he has become in the fight against his party’s corruption”.
“I myself have instructed DA councillors this week to lay charges of theft and fraud against mayors and municipal Managers of municipalities which have defaulted on their Eskom bills, yet continue to receive payment of rates from residents.”
Steenhuisen said to Ramaphosa: “Suspend and prosecute your cadres as promised. Anything less is merely more talk and less action from a Spectator President.”