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‘We must act against state capture, but don’t be reckless’: Ramaphosa to SACP

2017-07-12 17:39

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned the SACP not to take any reckless decisions that will destroy an already weakened alliance.

Speaking at the SACP’s 14th national congress, Ramaphosa said that breaking rank from the ANC and contesting the elections would be an unforgivable, grave mistake.

He said the SACP should not take such a serious decision merely because it was angry at the ANC.

“To destroy the alliance between the ANC and SACP would be a grave mistake for which history will provide no absolution.

“The people of South Africa would not forgive such a reckless act, because their wellbeing and prosperity is inextricably bound to the success of the national democratic revolution that we are both committed to pursue,” he said in a no-holds-barred speech.

“We know from the lived experience of our struggle that together we are stronger. As we have done for decades, as we continue to do, we must resist each and every effort to destroy this alliance.”

Delegates at the congress ending on Sunday will discuss contesting state power under the SACP banner.

The fate of the tripartite alliance – an alliance between the ANC, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party – hangs on its shoulders amid pressure to break away.

He said the SACP congress was taking place at a time when the movement was at its weakest.

“Our alliance is under great strain. At no other point in the history of our movement has factionalism and division become so brazen, so pronounced, so confident.”

He fired on all cylinders as he lamented how the ANC was plagued by sibling rivalry, petty jealousies and the sins of incumbency.

“We know all too well some of the causes of these ructions within our house,” he said listing competition for resources, corruption and the capture of state institutions by families, individuals and companies – all of which were outlined in a diagnostic report presented by ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe at the ANC’s policy conference last week.

Ramaphosa pleaded with delegates to discuss those issues because more information was emerging about the extent to which state-owned enterprises had been looted and how individuals in positions of responsibility benefited from actions that were unethical and criminal.

Ramaphosa charged that he would never be gagged from speaking out against wrongdoing and looting of the public purse to pay for a lavish Gupta wedding in Sun City in 2013.

“There is not a day that passes that we do not gain greater insight into a network of illicit relationships, contracts, deals and appointments designed to benefit just one family and their associates. We cannot turn a blind eye to these revelations.

“We cannot, under the weight of ever more disclosures, become numbed to what this means for the country, for our people and for the national democratic revolution.”

He added: “We now know without any shred of uncertainty that billions of rands of public resources have been diverted into the pockets of a few.

"These are resources that rightly belong to the people of South Africa.”

Ramaphosa said the money could have been used to fund higher education for the poor or to improve the quality of healthcare.

“Unfortunately, tragically, state capture has already had a profoundly damaging impact on our economy, on our state and on the wellbeing of our people.We need to act now to prevent any more damage.”

He again called for President Jacob Zuma to establish without delay, an independent judicial commission of inquiry with relevant terms of reference.

He further called on law enforcement agencies to investigate all these allegations involving the Guptas and bring those responsible to book.

“We need to recover all the funds that have been stolen. State capture, if left unchecked, can undermine the very foundations of our democracy.”

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September 24 2017