President Cyril Ramaphosa faced tough questions about his commitment to tackle corruption in the country. He was in the National Assembly for his oral questions on various issues.

The President has avoided answering the question of whether he believes that former Ethekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede should be a member of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, saying the matter .

The question was asked twice by the leader of the Official Opposition, John Steenhuisen.

“Do you support Mrs. Gumede’s elevation to the KwaZulu- Natal Legislature or not. It’s a simple Yes or No,” he asked.

Gumede was recently sworn in as a Member of the Provincial Legislature in KwaZulu-Natal despite being out on bail on corruption charges linked to a tender of millions of rands.

Ramaphosa insisted that the matter is being handled by the African National Congress (ANC).

“It’s a simple question. It’s a simple answer. The matter is being discussed within the structures of the Africa National Congress. That matter that has caused, yes, admittedly,  everybody agrees that it has caused a lot of disquiet, and the matter is being discussed within the structures of the African National Congress in a very democratic manner and leave it to those structures to deal with the matter. Thank you very much.

President Ramaphosa answers oral questions in the National Assembly: 

COVID-19 corruption

The Inkatha Freedom Party told President Ramaphosa during the session that it is not enough to just publish the names of faceless companies that benefited from the COVID-19.

IFP Chief Whip Narend Singh Singh was referring to the online publication of the names of more than 70 companies that have been awarded Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) contracts by the government for the supply of goods and services during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Mr. President, it’s laudable that company names are being made public, but behind these names are faces. Now you hear of XYZ company, ABC, PTY Limited. Who are the owners and directors of these companies? That’s something that needs to be revealed. And the second thing Honourable President, I still make an appeal to you to go back  to my old hobby horse, that please do not exclude your basket of options of dealing with corruption, the  establishment of a Chapter 9 Integrity Commission, independent, free from politics, that will not only investigate but suggest remedial action to all the thieves who are robbing poor taxpayers of their money.”

CR17 campaign donors

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema challenged President Cyril Ramphosa to reveal the names of his donors to the so-called CR17 campaign in the run-up to the 2017 African National Congress elective conference.

Malema said this is to establish whether they are beneficiaries of  COVID-19 tenders.

“But President, if you unseal the CR17 documents, you make it easy for us to see if the donors of the CR17 are not the beneficiaries of PPE. You say you are fighting corruption, yet you have sealed documents that will help us to hold you, your party, and your ministers accountable. So, I think that it’s just lip service to say you are fighting corruption whereas at the same time you are not telling us who donated to CR17 so that we can  quickly check if these people are not beneficiaries of PPE.”

Referring to allegations over the looting of COVID-19 Funds, the president said he acknowledged the outrage among South Africans, Parliamentarians, and the Executive.

“It is disgraceful that at this time of national crisis, there are companies and individuals who seek to criminally benefit from our efforts to protect people’s health and to save lives. As a government, we have taken several measures, not only to detect, to investigate or prosecute such crimes but also to strengthen the measures to prevent corrupt activities. To achieve this purpose, I have authorised the Special Investigating Unit to probe any allegations relating to the  misuse of COVID-19 funds  across all spheres of the state.”