8 November 2017

South Africa: ANC Has Been 'Grappling' With Corruption - Mkhize

ANC treasurer-general and presidential hopeful Zweli Mkhize's contribution to fighting corruption, as a current member of the ANC's top six, was to support the establishment of a commission of inquiry into state capture.

This was Mkhize's answer to the question on what he did to fight corruption as allegations of wrongdoing piled during his term as one of the party's top officials, when he addressed the Cape Town Press Club on Wednesday.

He said he took part in the debate on whether such a commission should be established and supported it.

"This is something I think we all must support," he said.

He said the "questions" around President Jacob Zuma must be investigated and everything must be corroborated.

He said he hoped the commission would be established soon.

"The way to deal with corruption is to act firmly where corruption is found," he said in answer to a previous question.

This required well-structured systems.

"There has been a lot of action on corruption," he said, citing suspensions and parliamentary committees' investigations.

"When each of these instances arises you should be able to act speedily so that people can see something is being done."

"The ANC has been grappling with this issue."

He said the party needed the leadership to be strengthened and it should be able to ask "somebody to step aside" when there were allegations.

Mkhize was also asked if he thought one of his rivals for the ANC presidency, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, was captured given recent allegations that she is supported financially by an alleged cigarette smuggler.

"Look, I don't have any evidence to suggest that Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is captured," Mkhize answered.

He said he did not want to make "wild statements".

It emerged that Mkhize does not have a "dream team" or slate.

"We must always be ready to lead with those who have been elected to lead with us".

He said he could work with anybody and the ANC had a "wide range of capable leaders".

Unity was a common thread through his speech.

He said the ANC must take the country forward and he wanted to be part of that leadership.

The country needed to get to a point where the playing field was level and the line drawn by apartheid was no longer visible.

He said radical economic transformation was not a cynical Bell-Pottinger construct, but a genuine attempt to correct what was wrong in South Africa.

"We must all agree that the structure of the economy needs to change," he said.

He said land ownership was one of the issues that needed to be addressed, and this could be done in terms of the Constitution.

He said the party's leadership must be efficient and not "drain the fiscus".

"We need leadership that is united to ensure there is no corruption."

Economic emancipation would be the core focus of the newly elected leadership, come December, he said.

He said the ANC must resolve the problems the organisation faces.

"Some of the things that are happening today, should not be happening."

"The ANC is a force for the good of the country," he said, adding that "were it not for the ANC and its leaders, this country would have burned."


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