President Cyril Ramaphosa
1 September 2020
President Cyril Ramaphosa participated in the National Executive Committee meeting (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC) this weekend. The main item on the agenda in the heated meeting was corruption in the ANC. Ramaphosa made a preemptive strike by penning a letter to ANC members and calling those accused of wrongdoing to step aside from their positions. According to Ramaphosa the NEC endorsed his open letter. Yet there was stiff opposition to his letter.
Ramaphosa had set up a ministerial committee to investigate alleged corruption in state tenders earlier this month.  Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane speaking at a webinar on corruption said that PPE procurement scandal saw emergency Covid-19 funds channeled to politically connected business people. She said that the system should be overhauled to avoid misuse of funds in the procurement. It was reported in the media that some PPE contracts were marked up as high as 800%. Ramaphosa said that the government would act boldly on these procurement contracts.
Treasury dropped its usual procurement rules to enable faster purchase of PPE items.
ANC national working committee (NWC) member Tony Yengeni has reportedly asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to step down ahead of the party’s NEC meeting. But he did not raise this at the formal meeting of the NEC.
The ANC will require the leaders to make regular declarations of financial interests, and guidelines will be developed on ANC leaders and their families doing business with government and public entities.
Local media reported that a handful of mid-ranking ANC officials, including lawmaker Bongani Bongo and KwaZulu-Natal provincial official Zandile Gumede, had been asked to step aside for alleged involvement in corruption.
Former president Jacob Zuma alleged that Ramaphosa used illegal funding for his 2017 presidential election campaign and sealed the list of donors (CR17) from the public eye. He also alleged that while he was vice-president his companies benefited from government contracts. The opposition party members asked CR17 to be made public so that they can see whether those donors have been given any preferential PPE contracts.
Aljazeera reported.