South Africa


Ramaphosa takes strong anti-corruption stance, slams attempts to derail party’s unity project

Ramaphosa takes strong anti-corruption stance, slams attempts to derail party’s unity project
President Cyril Ramaphosa at the opening of the ANC's 55th national conference at Nasrec in Johannesburg on 16 December 2022. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

In his wrap of the ANC’s elective conference, re-elected president Cyril Ramaphosa said the party would establish an anti-corruption unit.

In his closing speech at the ANC’s elective conference at Nasrec, Johannesburg, on Tuesday, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa said the party was determined to take all necessary action to end corruption and patronage within the party. In light of this, the ANC had decided to form an anti-corruption body to deal with criminality and State Capture.  

“We have recognised that corruption within the ANC is a dire threat to the continued existence of our organisation and to the future of the National Democratic Revolution. We have recognised the great progress that has been made over the last five years in tackling corruption within our ranks, within the state and across society. 

“But we have also acknowledged that we have not done enough to end corruption, to reverse the effects of State Capture and to deal with its corrosive effects on the ANC and institutions across society. We have said that the government should consider the establishment of a vibrant and independent anti-corruption agency as a structure to address issues of corruption across the country,” he said.  

He mentioned that there were attempts to divide the party and to “provoke”  and “divert” the party from achieving its mission. 

The party’s conference started on a chaotic note when a small group of ANC KwaZulu-Natal delegates heckled the President while he tried to deliver his political report.  

Party chairperson Gwede Mantashe tried his best to restore calm and initially did not succeed. Delegates’ songs were synonymous with former party president Jacob Zuma, and some chanted “step aside, load shedding” when Ramaphosa was at the podium.  

Then, just before Ramaphosa started delivering his political report, Zuma walked in with his daughter Duduzile, KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Siboniso Duma and his deputy, Nomagugu Simelane. 

The crowd would not budge, and a frustrated Mantashe interrupted the President to inform delegates that he would be calling security personnel. 

Duma, Police Minister Bheki Cele and Mantashe then had a short huddle on stage, and the KwaZulu-Natal chair got his delegates in line and calm was restored. 

Despite this, Ramaphosa remained optimistic about the future of the party. 

“There have been moments at this conference that have tested our unity and cohesion. But thanks to the political consciousness and, for the most part, the discipline amongst yourselves as delegates, whatever differences amongst us did not distract us from the critical work that the people of this country expect and require of us,” he said.  

The ANC adjourned its national conference until the first week of January. The adoption of key decisions will be made virtually, ahead of the party’s anniversary celebrations on 8 January. DM


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