Integrity’s bark worse than its bite

The ANC’s integrity commission says it can’t, and won’t, compel the party to take any action against members implicated in wrongdoing — despite having stronger powers to intervene in cases of alleged misconduct.

Last year the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) resolved to give the integrity commission more teeth by making its recommendations binding. This year the party announced it had put in place new terms of reference to strengthen the commission’s function.

But commission chairperson George Mashamba told the Mail & Guardian that, although the commission did have some level of increased power, which would make it difficult for wrongdoers to avoid being held accountable, the structure could not compel the ANC to take action on its recommendations.

Last month Mashamba and his fellow commissioners held a workshop with their predecessors in the structure to conduct an official handover and agree on the renewed functions.

This included an agreement that any member implicated in wrongdoing had to appear before the commission or face disciplinary action.


Recently, however, the commission has seen resistance to its interventions, despite having more authority.

Last week Mashamba’s commission handed over a report on the VBS Mutual Bank looting saga to the NEC. The report recommended that ANC leaders, including Limpopo deputy chairperson Florence Radzilani and Limpopo treasurer Danny Msiza, “step aside” from their positions and all party activities for their alleged involvement in the VBS heist.

The report was given to the ANC’s national working committee (NWC), but it has reportedly drawn resistance from some party members who believe the integrity commission may find itself being used in factional battles and to target individuals.

The ANC’s Gauteng province has also established its own integrity commission. It submitted recommendations to the provincial executive committee (PEC) that former health MECs Qedani Mahlangu and Brian Hlongwa have their ANC membership revoked. Mahlangu has been implicated in the Life Esidimeni tragedy and Hlongwa in corruption.

The Gauteng PEC agreed with the commission that neither of the two leaders be allowed to hold public office, but it declined to implement the recommendation that their ANC membership be revoked, which would remove them from all party structures.

Mashamba said the commission was not designed to compel the party to implement recommendations. “If you create a structure to assist you in doing your work, the structure can’t have overriding powers over you … So it’s the NEC that will decide what to do with the [VBS] report. They can maybe reject it … they can do that.”

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Dineo Bendile
Dineo Bendile works from Johannesburg. Political reporter. BLACK. Dineo Bendile has over 2712 followers on Twitter.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Medical aids blame external costs as fees increase beyond inflation

Medical aid is becoming more of a luxury for many South Africans, and it’s not about to get any better

Mahikeng compounds its mess

The ailing town that wasted R2-billion appoints a municipal manager rated ‘basic’, the lowest level

More top stories

Parliament owes South Africa an apology on state capture —...

The speaker told the Zondo commission she doesn’t know why the legislature woke up to state capture so late, but believes this won’t happen again

Cape Town fire ‘largely contained’, evacuation orders remain in place

Authorities confirmed the fire had been largely contained by early Monday afternoon, although reports suggest the fire had jumped the road near Tafelberg Drive

Zondo says break-in will not intimidate commission

The deputy chief justice said it was not clear if the burglary and a recent shooting were more than criminality, but vowed no one would deter the inquiry

European heavyweights face criticism over ‘cynical’ Super League

The 12 founding clubs of the breakaway competition have faced backlash from the football community
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…