Communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams says she will submit herself to the ANC’s integrity committee following media reports that a family member allegedly had business dealings with a South African Post Office board member.
IOL on Thursday reported that Ndabeni-Abrahams had fired the Sapo board member after allegations that he was doing business with her husband‚ Thato Abrahams.
Ndabeni-Abrahams said that the Communications Department and all the officials that fall under her portfolio must be ‘resolute in eradicating corruption’ and ‘lead by example’. The minister said that she valued the media’s role in holding public officials accountable.
“The media is an important democratic institution for holding public officials to account and must be respected.
“It was our hope that our responses, which are always open and transparent, to questions from the media, would be sufficient to address any public concerns about these matters and to inform the public on the truth of the matters reported upon.”
— Dpt of Communications & Digital Technologies (@CommsZA) September 4, 2020
Line in the sand
The decision by Ndabeni-Abrahams comes less than a week after president Cyril Ramaphosa warned that that the ANC will ‘draw a line in the sand’ between the organisation and those who steal from the people.
He said that 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, or other government structures.
The president said that cadres caught in acts of corruption, must face the integrity commission to explain themselves. Those who do not give an acceptable explanation, may be suspended. Those convicted, must resign from leadership positions, and face disciplinary actions.
“They have to be serious allegations that are of such a nature that somebody must answer for themselves in a satisfactory matter. Once they have done so the integrity commission must give consideration to what they say and make a decision.”
Ramaphosa said that the commission’s decision should be binding; he added that the ANC has a mechanism in place to revoke a persons ANC membership. This includes expulsion and a time limit on when they may return the party.
“There are some people that have, of there own volition, already decided they will step aside. We should pay tribute and respect to such members and say that they are putting the interest of the ANC ahead of their own interests.”
The integrity commission will be strengthened, for the means of carrying out its mandate, the president said.
“The NEC agreed that this will be a turning point in the fight against corruption,” he said.