ace magashule and cyril ramaphosa
Ace Magashule and Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: DA

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that former Free State premier Ace Magashule, who is out on bail on charges of fraud, will be presenting himself to the ANC party’s Integrity Commission on December 12. According to DA leader John Steenhuisen, this announcement about one of the ANC’s “most corrupt cadres” – following a lengthy NEC meeting at the weekend – is simply not good enough. In fact Steenhuisen went further to say:

“This is a spineless move which proves that the President is too weak to take decisive action against his party’s most corrupt, opting once again to choose the ANC over South Africa, kowtowing to both his comrades and the voters.

“Three months ago, in light of widescale ANC corruption relating to the procurement of Covid-19 PPE, President Ramaphosa stated, unambiguously, that all ANC cadres accused of corruption would have to step aside. In a strongly worded statement at the time he said:

“Cadres of the movement who are formally charged with corruption or other serious crimes must immediately step aside from all leadership positions in the ANC, legislatures and other government structures pending the finalisation of their cases.”

“Ace Magashule has not stepped aside, nor has he been suspended. President Ramaphosa’s promises on eradicating corruption are thus empty, and the line he has drawn in the sand has completely washed away. This is a slap in the face to South Africans deserving of justice for the ANC’s theft of their money and livelihoods,” said Steenhuisen in a statement on Tuesday evening.

The DA leader accused the ANC’s Integrity Commission of being “completely and utterly toothless”, functioning merely “as a veil for justice for those the President and the ANC are too scared to have charged and jailed in a court of law for their crimes against the country”.

Steenhuisen pointed out that “in early October, former disgraced Mayor of Ethekwini, Zandile Gumede, who was removed from her position last year in the face of a litany of tender corruption charges to the value of R400 million, appeared before the Integrity Commission with her lawyer in tow. There has been no word of any action against her for her crimes since.”

Steenhuisen said the “ANC treats the Integrity Commission as a de facto court where the judges are sympathetic ANC comrades presiding over cases which should be heard in an independent and impartial South African court of law requiring a string of criminal charges. This is not justice, it is merely the ANC’s portrayal of justice at the expense of our country.”

He said he will reserve his applauding for when President Ramaphosa has “the guts to throw his comrades into a jail cell for the treasonous acts committed against our country. South Africa deserves nothing less.”