Natasha Marrian Political editor: Business Day
President Cyril Ramaphosa is also under pressure locally and internationally to ensure that action follows the revelations emerging from the Zondo commission and others under way. Picture: GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa is also under pressure locally and internationally to ensure that action follows the revelations emerging from the Zondo commission and others under way. Picture: GCIS

The ANC has shifted its stance on allegations emerging from the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, calling on law enforcement agencies to act on the revelations if there is overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing.

The governing party is taking a knock ahead of the key 2019 general election, as revelations of wrongdoing by senior members emerged from the commission, which is chaired by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is also under pressure locally and internationally to ensure that action follows the revelations emerging from the Zondo commission and others under way, including the commission of inquiry into the Public Investment Corporation.

Reports indicating that five Western powers wrote to the government to highlight the negative impact of corruption on President Cyril Ramaphosa's investment drive. It showed that his administration is under pressure internationally to act on allegations of corruption. However, the ANC has condemned the move by the five countries  — the US, the UK, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands  —as a "holier than thou stance" of "former colonisers".  

The note from the five countries sparked a diplomatic row, with International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu complaining that proper diplomatic channels should have been followed. She met the embassies on Monday.

In a statement, her department said the heads of the various missions "regretted the misunderstanding" and clarified that a discussion paper was sent to the presidency to help contribute to the dialogue on how to attract foreign direct investment. 

In SA, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille is forging ahead with looking at ways of organising a tax revolt should those facing corruption allegations not face consequences. The ANC's election campaign is also set to take a knock as further allegations emerge, with no visible attempt to act on them by law enforcement agencies neutralised and weakened during Zuma's term. 

The ANC is on record saying that no findings have been made against any individual and that the testimony of witnesses had not yet been subjected to cross examination or scrutiny. 

However, the party's head of the presidency, Zizi Kodwa, on Monday said the ANC called on law enforcement agencies to act if there is overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing emerging from any of the commissions. 

Former president Jacob Zuma, environmental affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane, former SAA chairwoman Dudu Myeni, former SA Revenue Service commissioner Tom Moyane and mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe have all been implicated in allegations emerging from the commissions in recent months. 

The perception of no consequences after allegations of corruption was cemented when the National Prosecuting Authority dropped its cases against the controversial Gupta family over the Estina dairy farm matter and against Zuma's son, Duduzane, over allegations of bribery. 

Kodwa welcomed the move by the correctional services department to review all contracts with controversial services company Bosasa. He said the ANC continued to support the work of the various commissions to restore "credibility and root out corruption in the state, as well as state owned companies". 

Kodwa said that at this stage the allegations  showed where the  system needed to be tightened because business and politicians easily manipulated it. He suggested that this could entail strengthening existing controls such as the Public Finance Management Act. 

"We also need early warning systems to preempt these things and ensure that they do not happen again," he said. 

Kodwa said parties across the board faced the same challenge, using the Glad Africa contract in the DA-run City of Tshwane as an example. 

"Above all, we need ethical leadership," he said.

marriann@businesslive.co.za