ANC caucus never instructed MPs to cover up corruption: chief whip
On the contrary, parliament has since 2016 been actively fighting graft and has had results, says Pemmy Majodina
ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina has defended the party caucus, saying it has never instructed any member to cover up corruption.
On the contrary, Majodina said, the party has directed its members to leave no stone unturned in holding officials and ministers to account for acts of corruption.
Majodina was addressing a joint sitting of the two houses of parliament to debate President Cyril Ramaphosa’s state of the nation address last Thursday.
Earlier this month, former ANC MP Makhosi Khoza accused the governing party of being instrumental in weakening parliamentary oversight.
Khoza told the state capture inquiry that MPs who performed their oversight function properly in the ANC were severely punished and their political careers destroyed, and caucus leaders encouraged MPs to protect the executive.
In a speech on Tuesday dedicated to her late predecessor Jackson Mthembu, Majodina spoke of the party’s track record of oversight under Mthembu’s leadership.
For the ANC caucus, there is no turning back on it.ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina
She reminded MPs that under Mthembu in October 2016, the ANC caucus committed to regain the moral high ground, vigorously advance clean governance, champion the fight against corruption, shun incompetence and decisively deal with ill-discipline.
She said the ANC still stood by the pledge made almost five years ago.
“For the ANC caucus, there is no turning back on it.”
The decisive moment in 2016 brought about at least two oversight inquiries that had consequential outcomes. The first was a committee that led to the dissolution of the dysfunctional board at the SABC and ushered in a process of rebuilding the national broadcaster, she said.
This was followed by the Eskom inquiry that laid bare the depth of corruption and capture at the national power utility.
“All these inquiries were driven by members of this house united by a single objective: to advance the interests of SA and her people,” said Majodina.
These examples, she said, showed “when we do our oversight work diligently as parliament, using the powers vested in us by the constitution, we are able to achieve decisive outcomes”.
Majodina said in honour of those who came before and the millions of South Africans who voted for the ANC, the party would ensure parliament in the sixth administration remained consistent in taking decisive action against corruption and crime, regardless of who was implicated.
She said they had already demonstrated this commitment in the manner in which the auditor-general’s first report on the expenditure of Covid-19 relief funds was processed.
When we do our oversight work diligently as parliament, using the powers vested in us by the constitution, we are able to achieve decisive outcomes.ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina
All the oversight committees called the respective ministers and directors-general to account, she said.
“I want to state it categorically that no member of the ANC has ever been instructed to cover up corruption,” she said.
She said the directive from her office was to leave no stone unturned to hold those responsible for the “deeply disturbing” acts of corruption accountable.
“We therefore reject the narrative that the ANC caucus has sought to micromanage committee members and prevent them from performing their duties. That is blatant lies,” she said.
Majodina reaffirmed the ANC’s “unwavering support” for the state capture inquiry chaired by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.
“The commission must carry out its work and table its report without any fear or favour,” she said.
She said the party also supported all law enforcement agencies fighting crime and corruption.
“We must also move with speed to finalise the lifestyle audit framework as well as guidelines on family members of politically exposed persons doing business with the state.”