Eric Naki
Political Editor
2 minute read
31 Oct 2018
6:00 am

ANC slammed for failing to act against corrupt members

Eric Naki

The party's decision to allow Brian Hlongwa to keep party and legislature positions undermines its statements about zero tolerance for corruption.

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) in the past marched against corruption linked to the Life Esidimeni tragedy. 7 August 2018. Picture: Neil McCartney

The ANC has come under attack for failing to act firmly against its alleged corrupt members after it allowed its Gauteng provincial chief whip, Brian Hlongwa, to keep his party and legislature positions despite his resignation as chief whip under a cloud of corruption allegations.

Political analyst Ivor Sarakinsky said the ANC’s decision on Hlongwa undermined the recent statements by President Cyril Ramaphosa and Finance Minister Tito Mboweni that corruption would not be tolerated.

“The ANC is taking a soft approach to corruption. This demonstrates that the party is not prepared to act firmly against its members who are involved in malfeasance. This is against its own undertaking to fight corruption,” Sarakinsky said.

He was reacting to the Gauteng ANC’s decision to allow Hlongwa to resign only as chief whip and carry on with other duties, despite the recommendations by the party’s integrity committee that he, former health MEC Qedani Mahlangu and former Emfuleni mayor Simon Mofokeng not be allowed to hold any public office.

Hlongwa and Mahlangu would remain in the ANC provincial executive committee and would retain their party memberships.

The provincial executive committee (PEC) yesterday announced it accepted Hlongwa’s voluntary resignation as chief whip. He is accused of benefitting from a R1.2 billion corruption scandal in which he and several officials in the provincial health department were allegedly bribed by departmental suppliers.

Hlongwa allegedly bought a house in Bryanston, which he promptly demolished and rebuilt, allegedly using “dirty” money, while he was still MEC for health in Gauteng.

Mahlangu was implicated in the deaths of 144 Life Esidimeni mental patients who were sent to unregistered NGOs when she was MEC, while Mofokeng was accused of sexually grooming a 14-year-old girl.

ANC provincial spokesperson Tasneem Motara said the PEC at its meeting on Sunday accepted the report of the provincial integrity committee regarding Hlongwa, Mahlangu and Mofokeng.

She said the PEC noted the matter had taken a toll on the ANC and the members affected.

“The PEC reflected on the broad implications of its decision on the cases and was unanimous that these should not be treated lightly, given the role and responsibility of the ANC to the people of this province,” Motara said.

Motara said the PEC agreed with the commission’s recommendation that Hlongwa, Mahlangu and Mofokeng should not hold any public office, but disagreed they should also relinquish their ANC memberships.

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