MIDRAND -- The ANC is taking aim at corruption in its party ranks as well as government, but won’t accept full responsibility for its existence in South Africa.
In the party’s first report back on “Strategy and Tactics” from its National General Council (NGC) in Midrand, National Executive Committee member Nathi Mthethwa told journalists the ANC is serious about rooting out corruption.
“We have to be honest about our challenges and confront them,” he said.
“The ANC is facing problems. But we don't need new inventions to fix them. We just need to re look at what we said in 2012.”
Mthethwa was referring to the implementation of the party’s policy proposals drafted at its Mangaung elective conference in 2012, that are currently being grappled with at the NGC.
In the run up to the mid term policy review conference, the ruling party indicated its Integrity Commission would be taking a harder line on corruption.
But the powers vested in that body remain unclear along with its exact mandate.
Mthethwa hinted that the NGC would emerge with a declaration on how the ANC should deal with “real and perceived corruption,” but stopped short of describing what this would be.
“When we deal with corrupt people, delegates seem to be leaning towards dropping the idea of ‘innocent until proven guilty,’’ he said.
"We have not seen results of the integrity commission, the commission should decide this."
Mthethwa also stopped short of saying the ANC accepted the current corruption challenges faced by the country we of their own doing.
“We took over a corrupt system,” Mthethwa told reporters.
“Those who are corruptible will be corrupted by it. We inherited this.”
The Arts & Culture minister accused its opponents and the media of reinforcing the narrative that “all in the ANC are corrupt” and the state is “wholly corrupt”.
He said building "perception of corruption" follows same method as Joseph Goebbel's of the World War II era Nazi party in Germany, to "tell a lie over & over until believed."
Mthethwa said this narrative is strengthened through the incorrect illustration of wasteful expenditure by government.
“To say R30bn lost to corruption is wrong. Fruitless expenditure doesn't always mean corruption. Its wrong expenditure or money spent incorrectly.”