High-profile foundations and non-governmental organisations calling themselves “The Moral Call Collective” have taken the ANC to task over corruption allegations just days before the party’s much-anticipated national executive committee (NEC) meeting.
The group is led by the SA Council of Churches and includes the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Foundation for Human Rights and the Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution.
The collective met ANC members on Monday amid anger over corruption related to Covid-19 funds that has implicated ANC leaders, and about the latest move by the party to deploy corruption-accused former Ethekwini mayor Zandile Gumede to the KwaZulu-Natal legislature.
The meeting came ahead of an NEC meeting where the party will discuss what to do with members accused of corruption or who face serious charges.
Gumede’s return is expected to be among the hotly contested topics at the meeting. The group said the ANC leadership requested the meeting after the collective’s statement decrying corruption.
In a statement after the meeting on Monday, the group said it told the ANC the party’s leadership appeared to be compromised.
“In holding the governing party accountable for some of its recent decisions, the collective questioned how the ANC could reconcile the quest for public trust with the decision to reinstate people involved in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal.
“Also, how the ANC can commit to the fight against corruption while elevating a leader who is facing corruption charges to a provincial legislature?” it said in a statement.
The group was “left aghast” by the revelation by ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule that all party leaders, whether in the public service or not, were doing business with the government.
The group challenged Magashule’s position that there was no law against family members doing business with the government, saying existing provisions in the Public Administration Management Act and related regulations prevented politically exposed people from doing business with the government.
“We would expect a party with its roots as a liberation movement to espouse and adhere to the highest ethical values and principles based on selfless service, and a living conscience that frowns upon any tendency for its leaders and their families and relatives to seek to benefit from the state they voluntarily offer to serve,” read the statement.