Presidential hopeful Zweli Mkhize says the commission of inquiry into state capture must happen soon to restore public confidence in the ANC.
Mkhize held an exclusive interview with City Press days before the “mother of all marches” against President Jacob Zuma tomorrow.
“The commission on state capture must be established and accelerated immediately,” said Mkhize, adding that the ANC leadership had agreed on this point
“The ANC must act on corruption. We have agreed that this matter of state capture must be investigated without fear or favour,” said Mkhize
The ANC’s allies, Cosatu and the South African Communist Party, will take to the streets as part of a national shutdown in a show of force against Zuma, the man they propelled to power a decade ago.
Read: Mother of all marches against Zuma
The trade union federation and the communist party said their intention was to voice their opposition to state capture, corruption and job losses, for which they blame Zuma’s government.
Their previous calls for Zuma to resign have fallen on deaf ears.
Without mentioning names, Mkhize took a swipe at Zuma and his allies, the Gupta family, who featured prominently in the report into state capture released by former public protector, Thuli Madonsela.
“Where there’s corruption we need to act. All implicated individuals regardless of which positions they hold in government and the ANC, they must answer and account. We cannot tolerate any unethical conduct in the ANC. They must be disciplined and corruption cannot be party to [the] ANC,” said Mkhize.
He said that the current challenges faced by the ANC, which included factionalism and allegations of corruption by certain individuals, had the potential to destroy the party that was formed in 1912 by John Langalibalele Dube and other ANC leaders.
“Apart from what I have already said about state capture, there must be a commitment from the ANC members and those who are deployed to accelerate clean governance and transparency. If you have clean governance, then you’ll uproot corruption. That commitment will also ensure that there’s professionalism and good working ethics. The government must prevent corruption and focus on the plight of the poor. And reach out to the poor,” Mkhize said.
“Unity across all the provinces will ensure that there’s a sense of stability in the country. We need to deal with the issues of factionalism [to] restore the values of the ANC. The culture of ill-discipline must be dealt with and dismissed with immediate effect to build a united ANC. Those who are putting the organisation into disrepute must be acted upon urgently to get rid of this culture that is hurting the organisation.”
Addressing the issue of land, Mkhize said: “The rapid return of land to our people will have an impact. And government must target land that is easier to move. Our people must have access to land. There must be spatial planning patterns as well.”
He added that there were many opportunities in the agricultural sector – especially for young people – however, the government must offer technical agriculture support.
“There must be an engagement also with the tribal authorities because this will also boost the economy of the country where people are involved in agro-processing and farming. Agricultural technical support to various agricultural projects is very important,” said the presidential candidate.
According to Mkhize, the junk status that South Africa had been relegated to, was a result of imbalanced policy making.
“There must be consistency to restore confidence in our economy. We need a balanced approach of policy making, sector differentiation, efficiency, integrate value change and policy stability,” he said.
The ANC treasurer-general also touched base about radical economic transformation.
“We must deracialise the economy. There must be ownership and entrepreneurial culture. There must be transparency with companies that are doing business with government. Small businesses must be afforded an opportunity to grow and established companies must not take everything. We need new owners and entrepreneurs across the country. We must focus on creating jobs, restore investor confidence and identify role players,” Mkhize said.
In 2006, Zuma was accused of rape by Fezeka “Khwezi” Khuzwayo, but he was found not guilty.
A book written by journalist Redi Tlhabi has just been published, and has brought the issue into the spotlight again: Khwezi: The story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo by Redi Tlhabi
With regard to allegations that he attempted to convince the late “Khwezi” to drop rape charges against Zuma, Mkhize said: “I dismiss the allegations. I released the statement and let’s respect that. She was like a daughter to me and will always be that way. It’s also against my culture to speak about a person who has passed on.”
In his public statement Mkhize said: “It is a pity that in all this, I never got a chance to personally engage with Fezeka to share the background on how I got involved which was ostensibly to give support as part of the family. In all that I did it was never my intention to let her down. I also did not in any way undermine her right to pursue any legal recourse in this case.
“It was painful to witness public humiliation and ridicule of a child who was like a daughter to me and yet at that stage, because of legal process, I could not lend any support to her and her mother. I personally have never been involved in violence or the violation of women’s rights and dignity.
“As a husband and a father to my own daughters, I could never advocate for the dropping of charges against anyone accused of rape. We as men in our society have to be at the forefront of the protection of women and children against any form of abuse and violence, including rape.”