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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

We told our lawyers to expect ANC’s papers, says Phalatse on corruption accusations

Phalatse is insistent the ruling party must account for the billions it stole.

Ousted Joburg executive mayor Dr Mpho Phalatse has vowed not to apologise to the ANC for accusing it of being corrupt because, she says, that is a fact.

Instead, an adamant Phalatse said she had instructed her lawyers to expect the ANC’s papers – but she is insistent the ruling party must account for the billions it stole from South African citizens.

“I do not need a deadline of 48 hours to confirm what the entire nation already knows – the ANC is corrupt. We live with effects of ANC corruption daily – rolling blackouts, collapsing water infrastructure, alarming unemployment, to name but a few examples.

“No citizen should have to apologise for stating a simple fact. ANC-sanctioned and actioned corruption has stolen billions of rands meant to improve the lives of South Africans, not enrich an elite few,” Phalatse said.

The Johannesburg ANC gave Phalatse 48 hours to retract her statement and apologise for saying the party was corrupt, failing which the ANC would consider taking legal action against her.

According to ANC regional spokesperson Chris Vondo, Phalatse had defamed the ANC’s character with a series of statements in which she criticised the party after it took over power from the Democratic Alliance-led coalition.

“We want her to retract that statement and publicly apologise to the ANC within 48 hours,” Vondo said But Phalatse stood by her statement, which she reiterated.

She said, from its policy of cadre deployment, auditor-general reports, six volumes of the Zondo commission report, to an administration President Cyril Ramaphosa himself, the ANC was “number one” when it came to corruption.

“South Africans are tired of the ANC’s lies and looting,” Phalatse said. She was referring to a letter written by Ramaphosa to party members in August 2020, in which he said the party should face the reality that its leaders stand accused of corruption.

He said the ANC itself was “accused number one” in the process. Ramaphosa was reacting to graft allegations emanating from an investigation into Covid emergency aid funds levelled against certain ANC officials, private firms and some civil servants.

Ramaphosa said the corruption, which involved embezzling of funds meant for personal protective equipment, was unforgivable and a betrayal to millions of South Africans.

Ramaphosa said corruption was deeply rooted within the party and within the government.

“As the inheritors of the legacy of [Albert] Luthuli, [Oliver] Tambo and [Nelson] Mandela, we must be honest with ourselves.

“We must acknowledge that our movement, [the ANC] has been and remains deeply implicated in South Africa’s corruption problem,” he said.

Phalatse, who has challenged the outcomes of the council meeting where the ANC’s Dada Morero was elected mayor after she was removed in an ANC-led motion of no confidence, said she was counting down for the ANC to account for its theft of resources meant for the poor.

“We have told our lawyers to expect the ANC’s papers and we are counting down the hours until the ANC affords South Africans the opportunity they deserve to see just how spectacularly the party has stolen from the country and its people,” she said.

Neither ANC Johannesburg chair Morero – now also the mayor – nor the party’s regional secretary, Sasabona Manganye, returned calls and WhatsApp messages left by Saturday Citizen.


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