ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Picture: THULI DLAMINI
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Picture: THULI DLAMINI

South Africans who have for years resisted the admittedly bleak verdict on the governing party — that it’s effectively dead as an ethical organisation — will have been forced to reassess their position this week.

What will have tipped the scales is the statement by ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, when he was asked last week about the mounting scandal of family members of politicians benefiting from the Covid-19 emergency procurement rules — including his own sons, Tshepiso and Thato.

"Tell me of one leader of the ANC who has not done business with government," he replied.

In that sentence — factually inaccurate as it is — the man who, for all intents and purposes, is the ANC’s CEO, sounded the death knell for any hope that the party might be able to haul itself out of the grave it has dug. There are many in the ANC who would never cross the line and accept state money, yet Magashule has effectively given the vultures his blessing.

That his remarks came days after President Cyril Ramaphosa said office bearers should not pass on "inside information about opportunities to our families and friends" didn’t seem to matter to Magashule. No consequence is likely.

It was as clear a sign as any that the ANC is entirely ethically unmoored; Magashule just delivered the eulogy.

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