There are growing calls for the African National Congress’s Integrity Commission to be given more power. This follows the conclusion of the ruling party’s policy conference last weekend. Party President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to appear for the second time before the Commission on Wednesday.
Ramaphosa is said to have voluntarily met with the body last week over allegations of a cover-up following a burglary at his Phala Phala farm in Limpopo in 2020.
Earlier this year, the former Director-General at the State Security Agency, Arthur Fraser laid a criminal complaint against Ramaphosa for allegedly concealing the theft of millions in foreign currency from his game farm.
Chairperson of the party’s Integrity Commission, George Mashamba says, “We had an engagement with him, he left. We will meet to evaluate our interaction with him, then we will write a report to the NEC. They will decide what to do. If we find it necessary, we can call him back.”
It’s not the first time that Ramaphosa has appeared before the Integrity Commission. In 2020, he appeared before the commission to answer questions in relation to his CR17 campaign, not much came out of that appearance. As a result, many are saying the Commission is toothless. Some are calling for the body to be strengthened.
“The weakness in the system is that their recommendations are submitted to the office of the secretary-general and it ends there. So they have no authority to ensure that the national executive committee actually acts on their recommendations. That’s something that may have to be strengthened by giving them original authority because at the moment, they are a substructure of the NEC and I think they do need original authority from the conference itself so that they can act and ensure that their recommendations and decisions are given effect to” says former ANC deputy president, Kgalema Motlanthe.
There are also calls from within the party for Ramaphosa to step aside as investigations into the Phala Phala saga continue.
National Working Committee Member and NEC member, Lindiwe Sisulu says, “As the first citizen of the country, none of those things should be associated with him. Maybe we as the ANC should’ve taken a different position on this, sat each other down, and said how do we explain to the world how the first citizen of the country finds himself in this situation but we all tip-toed around the issue. In this particular case, it looks like the lawyers or the president himself wants to deal with it in a personal manner. Unfortunately, it affects all of us. Personally, I’m still hoping that there can be a committee that can deal with this.”
Once the Commission has completed its work, it will submit the report to the party’s National Executive Committee which will decide on the way forward.
Growing calls for ANC Integrity Commission to be given additional power: