President Cyril Ramaphosa will “probably” take the stand when the ANC finally gets its chance to make submissions before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture. This is projected to happen sometime next year, towards the end of the hearings.
So says ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile.
Speaking to City Press on the sidelines of an election campaign in Cape Town, he said that the party “will go at the right time [to the commission]”.
“It will probably be led by the president himself to speak for the ANC because at the end of the day, the buck stops with our president,” he said.
“We have time. The commission is still busy. The ANC will probably come towards the end – maybe next year. We are not rushing there. Let people speak; we will come.”
Mashatile said many people had forgotten that the commission was the product of an ANC decision.
“It is we, in our conference, who said we want a state capture commission. Now many people think that the ANC is on trial. No. It is we who said we want this kind of process so we can get to the truth.”
Mashatile also said the ANC’s integrity commission would look at the party’s election list because “there is an outcry by the public … [and] the integrity commission will check to see whether there is somebody it wants to question”.
“The difficulty is that most of these things are allegations against people. The electoral law does not bar those people from participating because most of them have not been convicted of criminal acts.”
Hence, said Mashatile, “the issue at hand has to do with ethics, morality and so on. The integrity committee is the only committee in the party that can look at those issues.
“Whether it will call comrades, nobody knows. But remember that we also said the issue of the integrity commission is not just for elections, it is something that is ongoing.”
Mashatile said the ANC was not worried about the list because “the integrity committee can still call you from Parliament and even suggest that you get out of the position that you are in”.
He said being on the candidate list did not mean that people were safe. “They can call anybody at any time, even if you are a minister. We are giving the committee that space to look at the list.”
He said the committee would then advise the ANC’s national executive committee about whether there was somebody it thought should not go to Parliament.
Mashatile said although the ANC constantly engaged its veterans – the most vociferous opponents of the current list – it might be necessary for now to first allow the integrity committee to do its job.
He said the ANC was a large organisation, but it was doing its best to renew itself.
“Allegations against our leaders are not going to stop. We have to continue to combat them. This week it is so and so, next week it will be somebody else,” he said.
“But we are doing our best. The most important thing is that the ANC has taken a position that we are not there to deny things. If there are allegations, they must be investigated. And we look into issues.”