ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated his tough stance on corruption, saying one of his key priorities as party leader will be to ensure that senior politicians and government officials implicated in state capture are immediately investigated and prosecuted.
“The investigation and prosecution of those responsible will be given top priority,” said Ramaphosa, who delivered his first January 8 statement at the Absa stadium in East London on Saturday.
He welcomed president Jacob Zuma’s announcement this week on the establishment of a commission of inquiry into state capture in line with the findings of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s ‘State of Capture‘ report.
The ANC president says the party, under his leadership will also ensure law enforcement agencies are strengthened to fight crime and corruption without fear or favour. Under president Zuma’s administration, law enforcement agencies like the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), have been accused of being biased in their fight against graft and being soft on corrupt politicians and government officials perceived to be close allies of President Zuma.
“Strong and efficient law-enforcement agencies are critical to the fight against corruption and crime generally, and to the restoration of the integrity and legitimacy of the state. In this regard, the ANC is of the firm view that the country’s intelligence services, the police and prosecutorial authorities should be strengthened and fortified to act with professionalism, and without fear, favour or prejudice. They should continue to be at the forefront of the fight against corruption and state capture, and work with communities to deal decisively with acts of criminality that threaten to tear communities apart. These include child abuse, gender-based violence, substance abuse, human trafficking and many contact crimes that have been on the rise.
Ramaphosa also made it clear the days of cadre deployment would soon be over and that ANC members would be deployed on merit to key government positions.
“Mechanisms for the appointment of individuals to senior government positions, state owned entities and law enforcement agencies will be strengthened to improve transparency, prevent undue influence and ensure adequate vetting of candidates. We must work to restore the credibility of public institutions, including state owned enterprises and law enforcement agencies, by addressing excessive turnover in senior positions, undue political interference, poor coordination and corruption,” said Ramaphosa.