Huge blow for ANC big shots as President Ramaphosa calls for lifestyle audits
Emboldened by his court victory over suspended ANC secretary general Ace Magashule, President Cyril Ramaphosa has moved to strengthen his hand on power, launching a fresh bid to subject party leaders to lifestyle audits as he is to toughen his fight against corruption.
Ramaphosa used the first day of the party’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting on Friday to ratchet up his campaign against corruption, saying the ANC, after legal clarity on its step-aside rule, should now finalise guidelines on lifestyle audits and the policy on leaders and their family members doing business with the government.
“We must end corruption and patronage. This requires, among other things, that we implement the resolutions of our 54th national conference on dealing with corruption.
We must clarify our positions on the declaration of financial interests by ANC leaders, the conduct of lifestyle audits and our policy on ANC leaders and their family members doing business with the state,” he said.
“As we did with the issue of stepping aside, we should have guidelines to regulate the application of this important matter that deals with the integrity of our movement,” he added.
Ramaphosa was delivering a political overview at the opening of the closed virtual NEC meeting, which ends today.
The president said that he was told that the Communist Party of China saw “unbelievable growth” in their membership after they demonstrated their seriousness with dealing with corruption, adding that efforts to strengthen the party’s Integrity Commission needed to be continued.
His comments came just hours after the Johannesburg High Court dismissed with costs an application by Magashule to set aside his suspension, throwing his faction – the so-called Radical Economic Transformation Forces – into turmoil.
This week, Ramaphosa’s campaign to consolidate his power gained momentum with the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma for defying the Constitutional Court and Magashule’s court defeat.
The former Free State premier has since indicated he will appeal the matter, after the court ruled that his precautionary suspension was lawful.
ANC insiders said the court decision had intensified moves to formally charge Magashule with bringing the party into disrepute. This is in connection with his address on Sunday at Zuma’s homestead in Nkandla, where he called on members to defy the ANC leadership when disbanding their structures.
Ramaphosa also gained the upper hand after the party’s NEC on Monday endorsed the dissolution of the Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans, who are vocal Magashule supporters.
It has also emerged Ramaphosa is ready to reshuffle his Cabinet after receiving the report on the outcomes of the Special Investigating Unit’s probe into Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s alleged involvement in the R150 -million tender scandal.