ANC leaders ’empowered’ by Ramaphosa’s letter: Derek Hanekom

Former minister of tourism Derek Hanekom has expressed his support for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent tough talk on corruption.
Image: Russell Roberts

Former tourism minister Derek Hanekom says the ANC leadership felt empowered by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s letter and that it showed the kind of leadership he is capable of.

He was speaking to Power 98.7’s Aldrin Sampear on Monday.

“Myself and many other ANC members, we were delighted and empowered. We felt that the president was rising to the challenge and giving the kind of leadership that we know he is capable of giving and the kind of leadership that we expect from him,” he said.

Hanekom said while action is needed, the letter helps set the tone for action that is expected to follow. The former minister said members of the ruling party who were threatened by the letter are those that are guilty of corruption.

“This letter was just the medicine that we need, that the country needs, but the letter on its own without the required follow up question will be of little value,” he said.

Ramaphosa on Sunday wrote a seven-page letter expressing his concerns about corruption and the fact that the ruling party is “accused number 1.”

He said the ANC must be of service to the public — and that members who seek to solicit wealth and political connections for personal gains must leave the party.

The president added that rampant corruption witnessed at the start of lockdown negatively affected the poor.

Hanekom described the allegations reported in the recent weeks as “despicable” and called for implicated members to be brought to book.

On Sunday, DA interim leader John Steenhuisen said Ramaphosa must walk the talk and jail corrupt ANC officials. He was particularly critical of the redeployment of former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede into the provincial legislature last week, as well as secretary-general Ace Magashule, whose two sons were awarded PPE tenders.

The public also expressed little hope at a positive turnaround, prompting a response by minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu, who said the party will prove its doubters wrong.

“The ANC NEC this weekend will definitely disappoint all other doubting Thomases,” said Mthembu on Monday.

“We will act against corruption in all its manifestations and prove all of them wrong.”

BY CEBELIHLE BHENGU

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