ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has said power corrupts, and the party needs to ensure a strong position against it.
Magashule was speaking at the 30 th anniversary of the unbanning of the ANC and release of former president Nelson Mandela from prison at Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg, where he launched an exhibition commemorating Mandela's life.
The best tribute the ANC could pay to Mandela's legacy and his generation was to ensure the unity and renewal of the ANC, he said.
While the ANC today faced accusations of wrongdoing and corruption, Magashule added, a strong position had been taken against this.
"The corridors of power, Nelson Mandela said this, and we believe it. Power at times corrupts and that's why our position against corruption is a strong position.
"It's a position we must, at all material times, push and ensure that we deal with it. Power corrupts," Magashule said.
He added it was up to the media and ordinary South Africans to project the country responsibly and patriotically.
"The media has a role to play in terms of projecting the image of the country. We must project it in a responsible way. You must still be objective ... be patriots in whatever you do," Magashule said.
A controversial figure himself, he has been implicate in alleged corruption during testimony at the commission of inquiry into state capture as well as in the book Gangster State by award-winning journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh.
"The Cubans will tell you that if people want to destroy the nation they bring drugs, when you see all these things you must know that the country is going to change because people are drugged and this is when people want to seize power away from the masses and they don't want us to succeed.
"That's why we are saying as the ANC, we can't bring changes ourselves," Magashule said.
Abner Mosaase, a member of the ANC's international relations sub-committee, maintained the ANC was doing more than enough in trying to renew itself.
He said the organisation had created a document detailing how it should carry itself to stamp out corruption.
"We've got an extensive document on organisational renewal. There are things that are highlighted specifically in the document - that ANC cadreship must at all times ensure that we rid ourselves of particular practices, including greed, crass materialism, conspicuous consumption and ostentatiousness are some of the elements that are likely to weaken the gravitas of the ANC."
He added the corruption that had come to light was thanks to the ANC's transparency.
"All these things that are raised, they are in the public because the ANC exposed them. It is the culture of democratic opening of the ANC [which is why] you are seeing these things being spoken about.
"What you are seeing at the Zondo commission, you are seeing a lot of ANC members planning the space of transparency so that things are unearthed... This is how we are going to live up to the legacy of Nelson Mandela," Mosaase said.