African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa has admitted that the ruling party was delayed in its reaction to emerging evidence on the Gupta family’s influence in the country.

Ramaphosa says the emails shedding light on this, known as the Gupta Leaks, had presented a flood of evidence, which required Parliament to begin its work on the matter.

Ramaphosa is testifying for a second day at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in his capacity as the leader of the governing party.

“The delayed reaction was not a correct way to handle matters and I will concede that. The contestation on state capture continued for quite a while. So that amount of contestation about matters of this nature could in many ways have led to the delayed reaction. These contestations do take place in various organisations,” explains the President.

 

Ramaphosa says he regrets that the ANC delayed in investigating state capture through parliament’s committees, but denies that this was due to deliberate resistance.

Ramaphosa was responding to questions on why the ANC chose to rebuff a proposal by the DA in March of that year that parliament probe the allegations emerging from media reports on the Gupta family.

The ANC at the time made a counter proposal that those who had any knowledge of the matter go to the police or the Public Protector.

“The thinking would have been which of the structures that we have in the state that would have greater effectiveness of investigating these matters and coming to a conclusion that prosecutorial processes should comment it was through at the time that other institutions the Public Protector, the Police may have had a better grip on all these matters,” he says.

Ramaphosa says the emergence of the Gupta leaks had activated Parliament’s role to respond to the evidence.

“Once these Gupta leak emails came out, it became clear to many of us that there needed to be a response of some sort. The ANC knew that it needed to get to the bottom of this on a number of other structures. This would have been in line with what Parliament needed to do at that time because a flood of evidence was now becoming evident and available,” explains President Ramaphosa.

Live stream of today’s proceeding is below:

‘No excuses for ANC’

On Wednesday, he was quizzed on the impact of cadre deployment. Ramaphosa said he was not at the State Capture Commission to make excuses for the governing party or defend the indefensible.

He 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,” said Ramaphosa.