Ramaphosa admits ANC's been weakened by corruption, vows to take on offenders

Ramaphosa emphasised the importance of unity in the party and reiterated that this unity should not be used to shield wrongdoers.

FILE: ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa told supporters at a rally in kwaNobuhle, Eastern Cape. Picture: ANC

JOHANNESBURG – The African National Congress (ANC) has again committed to ramping up its internal fight against corruption - saying those facing criminal charges will be summarily suspended if they refuse to step aside.

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the party's January 8 statement, virtually, on Friday night.

He admitted during the virtual address that the ANC has been weakened by corruption.

The party is facing an uphill battle with those facing criminal charges defying the party resolution to step aside including Secretary General Ace Magashule, who declared that only branches of the ANC could remove him.

President Ramaphosa once again emphasised the importance of unity in the party and again reiterated that this unity should not be used to shield wrongdoers.

Corruption was one of the major themes in the address and while not presenting any new approach to resolving this problem he told members that disciplinary measures would be taken against those who disregard the integrity commission.

“Members who fail to give an acceptable explanation or to voluntarily step down while they face disciplinary, investigative or prosecutorial procedures, will be summarily suspended.”

He said the integrity commission, which up to now can only make recommendations to the NEC, would be empowered this year.

“We are going to strengthen the ANC’s Integrity Commission, to enable it to act decisively, without fear or favour, to deal with corruption and wrongdoing in our ranks.”

In the past, the NEC overturned the recommendations of the commission.

Ramaphosa also warned members that in the path towards renewal, the ANC also faced a danger of being consumed by internal conflicts.

In just a matter of months or possibly weeks, this is likely to be put to the test when the NEC faces off over guidelines on members implicated in wrongdoing to step aside.

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