President Jacob Zuma has turned down calls for the implementation of the ANC lifestyle audits in the top echelons of the ANC, despite party’s explanation of its importance.
Speaking at an ANC provincial rally in Limpopo on Sunday, Zuma explained why he and the rest of the ANC’s elite will not be taking the special ANC lifestyle audits suggested by other senior officials.
Zuma angrily lashed out at fellow ANC members requesting for the audits to “behave properly” as the movement had pulled out all the stops to fight corruption, which he said was “not a problem brought by us.
Zuma’s reaction to the special ANC lifestyle audits came at the time the ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe announced the move towards such audits in October, following the party’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting.
“The NEC has called for the introduction of ad hoc lifestyle audits for political leaders and public servants. The NEC has also directed that all allegations of corruption must be responded to and clarified as soon as they arise,” Mantashe said at the time.
The ANC Lifestyle audits originally came as a suggestion by the Alliance Political Council, a group comprising of the national officials of the ANC, SACP, COSATU and SANCO in October 2016. The aim of the council was to clamp down on corruption and factionalism by conducting lifestyle audits on senior members.
The president slammed the request highlighting the importance of the upcoming elective conference, where he is expected to step down as ANC leader in December.
There, he also called on members to elect leaders who had a proven track record and were capable of unifying the divided movement.
The ANC, according to Zuma, existed to serve the people, “not ourselves”. But the first task was to unite the alliance and South Africans in order to create a better life for all, he said, reminding members that no amount of conferences should divide the party.
“It is the ANC that waged the war, together with the alliance, to fight corruption in South Africa. It has also gone further to establish institutions in government and it has arrested those who are corrupt”, said Zuma.
“It is the only organisation and its government… that has fought corruption.”
Zuma, who seemed to be fully supporting the outgoing AU Commission chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to succeed him as president over Ramaphosa, said the ANC-led government had put many programmes in place to help root out crime and corruption and to promote good ethics throughout the public sector.
He also called on the party, labour federation Cosatu and SACP leaders not to be party to the weakening of the alliance, adding that the upcoming national elective conference would provide the ruling party with the opportunity to renew itself. “We must be prepared to choose leaders who have demonstrated the desire to serve our people,” Zuma said.