If you are corrupt, an ANC member representing the party in any arm of the state, and protect those accused of corruption within the governing party, your political prospects look bright.
But if you are the antithesis, rest assured that some day you will find it “very cold outside the ANC” and be given the boot.
The ANC is a coalition of pro-corruption forces there by amaqabane kaTambo (which translates roughly to “comrades of Tambo”, in reference to former president Oliver Tambo), as party members affectionately refer to each other.
This is according to former ANC MP Makhosi Khoza, who was giving testimony at the Zondo commission on Thursday about alleged parliamentary oversight shortcomings of the ANC.
Khoza told the commission that she resigned from the party after being persecuted for her anti-graft stance, particularly when she called for the head of then ANC boss Jacob Zuma over multiple corruption allegations.
She placed the entire ANC at the crime scene of the state capture and corruption that beset the government.
Her own experience, she said, along those of other two women who were ANC MPs and who opposed corruption during the Zuma years, was proof enough that corruption was openly encouraged in the ANC ranks, while anything against it was frowned upon.
The other two women, said Khoza, were former parliament Eskom inquiry chairperson Zukiswa Rantho, who now finds herself in the political wilderness after the ANC refused to return her to parliament after the 2019 general elections. The other was Feziwe Loliwe, who died in a car accident in 2018.
“To me it had become clear that the ANC had adopted corruption as its official policy, because the only thing I was guilty of was to stand for that which was right. I do not believe that I brought the ANC into disrepute … so I resigned,” said Khoza.
“The ruling party was instrumental in weakening parliamentary oversight. Let me give an example of three women who happened to live in the same parliamentary village, that is Zukiswa Rantho, Feziwe Loliwe and myself.
“The three of us were doing our best and independently took the decision that we were no longer going to be silenced on what is right. But what happened to those three women is actually tragic, because I was removed as chairperson of the public service and administration portfolio committee, Feziwe Loliwe died in a car accident and Rantho was also not returned as an MP,” she continued.
“It is something to note that those who were in the forefront of doing right, those that did not have smallanyana corruption skeleton that former minister Bathabile Dlamini spoke about, it was very easy to strangulate their voices and discard them.
“You will here people telling you that ‘it is very cold outside the ANC. If you are not going to follow ANC directives, look at what happened to Makhosi Khoza’. People who perform their oversight function properly in the ruling party, they are severely punished and their political careers are destroyed and I am speaking from experience.”