Ace Magashule. PICTURE: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES
Ace Magashule. PICTURE: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES

The ANC, which has become embroiled in fresh allegations of corruption related to Covid-19 tender irregularities and profiteering, will review its codes of ethics on family members doing business with the state.

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said in a statement that the ANC's national executive committee (NEC) was “outraged and deeply embarrassed” about allegations levelled at some leaders, members and their families. Two of Magashule's sons have been named as those allegedly benefiting from tenders during the pandemic.

The statement followed an NEC meeting at the weekend that was reportedly split along factional lines over how to deal with the scandal.

One of the outcomes was that “the codes of ethics that guide public representatives, members of the executive and public servants at all levels be complied with by ANC public representatives, and reviewed to provide clear guidance with regard to family members doing business with the government”.

The statement also comes a day after president Cyril Ramaphosa likened those who sought to profit from a disaster to “scavengers”. 

Ramaphosa’s presidency was built on the promise of fighting corruption, but this has taken a big knock in the face of allegations of tender corruption relating to SA’s response to Covid-19.  

The statement also comes in the wake of a statement by ANC-ally trade union federation Cosatu that it would part ways with Ramaphosa’s administration if corruption were not acted on, and workers lives were not protected during the pandemic.

Over the past few weeks, public anger has been increasing after allegations relating to tenders for the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) has seen both Ramaphosa's spokesperson, Khusela Diko, and Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku take a leave of absence pending the outcome of investigations by the Special Investigating Unit.

Allegations have also emerged against two of  Magashule’s sons in relation to tenders, while the Sunday Times reported that Ramaphosa's son, Andile Ramaphosa, was involved in a project to provide a safety feature for taxis to limit the spread of Covid-19, through his nonprofit company, SDI Force.

Magashule, who himself faces a raft of previous corruption allegations linked to state capture during Jacob Zuma's presidency, said in Tuesday's statement that “these developments cause us collectively to dip our heads in shame and to humble ourselves before the people”.

He said NEC acknowledged the justifiable public outrage caused by the “depravity and heartlessness displayed by some elements in government, our organisation and the private sector”.

“We unequivocally condemn all forms of corruption, dishonesty and state capture involving the public and private sectors, including collusion, price-fixing, tender fraud, bribery, illicit financial flows, illegal imports and misuse of tax havens,” Magashule said.

Magashule said leaders and members of the ANC were expected to set an example to society by displaying the highest level of integrity.

“The moral standing of the ANC has been severely damaged by the conduct of some of its members, who, in fact, do not deserve to be in our ranks,” Magashule said.

He said the NEC believed those who looted public resources must face the might of the law.

“We are committed to draw a clear line between our organisation and those who steal from the people, thereby subverting the very essence and reason for the ANC’s existence as a servant of the people,” Magashule said.

Some of the other decisions taken during the meeting include asking party officials to prepare an audited list of cases where ANC members and leaders are accused of corruption and other crimes, and submit it to its national working committee and the NEC within in a month. It has to include recommendations on action to be taken.

Magashule said that the officials may call for assistance from the party's integrity commission in this process, while any other party members could be called on to make a contribution.

He said all ANC provincial and regional structures would be instructed to report on steps taken against ANC members and public representatives accused of abusing food parcels and other Covid-19 relief measures.

mailovichc@businesslive.co.za

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