The ANC's integrity commission can be used as a tool to purge and fight factional battles. But do these loopholes render the entire committee without use? Mcebo Dlamini writes.
The committee can be used as a tool to purge and fight factional battles. But do these loopholes render the entire committee without use? Mcebo Dlamini writes.
Is there even a soul to save? The ANC has been going through an unprecedented degeneration in the recent years that made one doubt whether there was even a possibility of redemption.What was once the largest and perhaps most important vehicle for social change in our society seemed to be beyond repair.
The ship seemed to be sinking, many things piled up: poor policies, nepotism, corruption, patronage, lack of organizational discipline.All these things contributed to the apparent collapse of a giant and something had to be done about this. This led to the adoption of a resolution to form an integrity commission.
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By Mcebo Dlamini Is there even a soul to save? The ANC has been going through an unprecedented degeneration in the recent years that made one doubt whether there was even a possibility of redemption.Email Share Johannesburg - Amid intensifying internal factional battles and the 2017 election campaign being at the centre of the storm, those who lead the ANC's Integrity Commission (IC) have been left with no choice but to prove the structure is still relevant and not feeble..Save After almost 1,000 days as ANC president, President Cyril Ramaphosa finally took the political wheel of the party after a special ANC meeting to deal with corruption.
What was once the largest and perhaps most important vehicle for social change in our society seemed to be beyond repair. The ship seemed to be sinking, many things piled up: poor policies, nepotism, corruption, patronage, lack of organizational discipline. This comes as the party's national executive committee (NEC) has reiterated its stance that all those accused of malfeasance should subject themselves before the IC. All these things contributed to the apparent collapse of a giant and something had to be done about this. Development finance institutions must be held to the same governance standards as publicly listed companies — the boards of such institutions must act in the best interests of all stakeholders, funders, employees and suppliers. This led to the adoption of a resolution to form an integrity commission. Reports also emerged at the weekend that senior NEC member Tony Yengeni had asked Ramaphosa to step down. This structure has the responsibility of protecting the integrity of the ANC. The top-level items are: The action on the leaders who face criminal charges – former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede has stepped down from her position as a provincial MPL; ANC MP Bongani Bongo has confirmed he will stand down and Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Andile Lungisa has been asked to resign by provincial party bosses.
Many years after the formation of this structure one questions its efficacy seeing that so many continue to taint the integrity of the movement with impunity. But some have vowed to push back on calls for the ANC leader to walk the plank. What is required by the legislation is the kind of enhanced scrutiny that allows for the careful assessment of the sources of wealth and funds of such persons. Does this structure have any potential at all or is it just a toy gun to give semblance of commitment to the struggle against corruption? This committee recently summoned President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Secretary-General Ace Magashule for acts and utterances that go against the anti-corruption fight waged by the ANC. This sparked debate regarding the powers that the committee has. Speaking at the funeral of MK veteran David Malada at the weekend, Lekganyane said they would thwart moves to remove Ramaphosa. What seemed to be the source of controversy is the decision that any official of the ANC found to be charged with corruption must step aside. Its 2017 report assessed a number of key features of such institutions, including their ownership, mandate and governance practices. This seems like a sure way to combat corruption but where there is power there is potential for abuse of power and this is something that we ought to watch carefully. Meanwhile, as the NEC meeting was expected to wrap up on Sunday, it is yet unclear how the IC's processes will unfold or when it is set to begin. Magashule caused a mini-crisis when he said there was nothing stopping this practice when Daily Maverick reported that his sons had won PPE contracts from the Free State government.
In a country where there is a history of manipulation of prosecutorial processes, this decision is vulnerable to abuse. It might be used by members of the ANC to settle scores mainly because it states that those who are charged should step aside regardless of whether they have been found guilty or not. On the other hand, some experts believe that the IC is all talk and no bite. These institutional differences have important implications for the mandate and governance of development finance entities. The committee can be used as a tool to purge and fight factional battles. But do these loopholes render the entire committee without use? The committee is a demonstration of the ANC’s willingness to deal with the growing scourge of corruption especially amongst its own members. For example, the commission recommended that the Deputy Minister (of Finance) David Masondo step aside but the ANC leadership just ignored that recommendation instead of following it up and ensuring that it is implemented,” political commentator Xolani Dube said. Where we are dealing with conditions of abnormality then it is permissible to take stringent measures. Some have broad mandates, formulated in general terms without reference to any particular sector, such as promoting social and economic development. “I’m not easily insulted.
It cannot be that the organization continues to operate under ‘innocent until proven guilty’ considering how long criminal and civil process might take. Last week, Ramaphosa penned a seven-page letter to ANC members in which he said the ANC was in the dock as “Accused No 1” in relation to corruption allegations. If this principle is adopted then it means that the organization might harbour criminals for years, simply because they have not been found guilty. The criminal burden of proof that requires beyond a reasonable doubt falls short in protecting the integrity of the ANC. Political Bureau. The World Bank report found that in 74% of the cases, a government entity, such as the ministry of finance or president of the country, appoints board members of development finance institutions, and in 54% of cases, CEOs are appointed in a similar manner. Remember that not only criminal acts are capable of bringing the party’s integrity under strain. There are cases that fall outside of the category of criminal that the ANC ought to deal with decisively to protect its image. Both Justice Minister Ronald Lamola and Police Minister Bheki Cele have said that there is no truth in the secretary-general’s allegations, although he may have been referring to the Hawks.
Here it is commendable that the ANC has summoned two of the most important officials of the party to appear before the committee. Some have used advertisements and then made recommendations to the cabinet. It suggests that there is no one who is above it and that they are indeed responding to the numerous outcries regarding corruption in the country. The integrity commission must not only be a structure that does lip service to the urgent need of reclaiming the dignity of the ANC. It must not only present itself as a structure that seeks to pursue justice but must in actual fact pursue justice. In the competitive environment for scarce resources, the DBSA has to meet stringent governance protocols comparable to its private sector competitors. This will be seen not only by people being called to appear before the committee but through people being sanctioned.
This is to say we must see people being called to step aside. It is true that the integrity committee is open to being misused, but it cannot be denied that it remains one of the few ways that the ANC has demonstrated that it wants to deal with the problem of corruption and retain the dignity of the party. This is a situation I inherited when I became DBSA chair — I lay no claim to it. * Mcebo Dlamini is a member of the ANC, a former Wits SRC president and a Fees Must Fall activist. ** The views expressed herein are not necessarily those of Independent Media. . Correctly, there is a concern that it may not be appropriate for the DBSA to house the infrastructure fund because the institution may wish to participate in funding some of the planned infrastructure projects.