African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa has told the Commission of Inquiry in State Capture that the party’s Cadre Development and Deployment Policy is not unique to the party and cannot be faulted in principle.

The policy has often come under fire for the poor levels of service delivery by the ANC government due to some officials being unqualified to perform their work, a situation that Ramaphosa does acknowledge as occurred in some instances.

“Cadre deployment cannot be faulted in principle. It’s a common feature of democratic practice around the world. I think if properly described and not diluted through various other intents and forms, it is a useful process used by governing parties around the world to make sure that the mandate that they are given by the populace is carried out. But we would concede that there are weaknesses in its practical implementation that make the case for greater clarity both within political parties and the state,” added Ramaphosa.

ANC Deployment Committee plays a recommendation and reactive role: Ramaphosa

‘No excuses for ANC’

Earlier, Ramaphosa said he is not at the State Capture Commission to make excuses for the governing party or defend the indefensible.

He has reiterated the ANC and government’s support for the work of the Commission as part of strengthening the country’s democracy.

“The ANC has taken this position knowing that the organisation itself would be placed under great scrutiny and that the process of examining these matters will be difficult and painful for the ANC. Nevertheless, the ANC maintains that this commission is a necessary part of the broader social effort of ending all forms of state capture and corruption,” says Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa on funding

Ramaphosa says the party has for a long time recognised the risk presented by the lack of regulation with respect to political funding.

Ramaphosa says despite the risks, any successful multiparty democracy requires funding in order to meet the needs of the electorate.

He says parties need funding from their own members, from individuals and businesses.

The ANC President says before the enactment of the Political Funding Act which came into effect on the 1st April 2021, there were few restrictions on funding which the Act seeks to address.

“The lack of transparency with respect to political funding increases the potential for corruption and the exercise of improper influence on political activity and government processes. It wants to resolve this problem that the ANC resolved at its 54th conference that the ANC should champion the introduction of a comprehensive system of public funding of the representatives of political parties in the different spheres of government and civil society,” he adds.

Fight against corruption 

Ramaphosa says the party did not do enough to fight corruption and state capture. He has acknowledged that the party did not take much cognisance when the matter was first raised by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula at a 2011 National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.

He says although there were subsequent interventions on the issue by then-Parliamentary Whip, the late Jackson Mthembu and then secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, these were inadequate.

“It had shortcomings in living up to the expectations of the people of South Africa in relation to enforcing accountability and engendering a culture of effective consequence management. As the leadership of the ANC duly elected at the 54th Conference, we acknowledge these shortcomings as an organisation.”-Additional reporting by Naledi Ngcobo

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