By CELANI SIKHAKHANE
The ANC president, Cyril Ramaphosa has admitted that the claims about the influence of the Gupta Brothers over the party’s executive were never investigated.
Ramaphosa made these revelations on Wednesday morning during his presentations to the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.
“The earliest claims of influence by the Gupta family over the executive were made by minister Fikile Mbalula, however, I do admit that as far as I was aware, the claim was never investigated,” he said.
In his opening statement, he said he did not appear before the commission to make excuses or to defend the indefensible.
He stressed that the ANC would assist the commission in its work in any way possible.
“The ANC has consistently expressed its support for the objectives and the work of this commission. The ANC has taken this position knowing that the organisation may be placed under great scrutiny.
“And that the process of examining these matters will likely be difficult and painful for the ANC.
“Nevertheless, the ANC maintains that this commission maintains a necessary part of the broader social effort to end state capture and corruption,” Ramaphosa stated.
He said the ANC recognised the extent to which some party leaders and members were advertently and inadvertently complicit in corruption.
He reiterated the party’s position that leaders and members who were found to be complicit in corruption must face the might of the law.
H added that their actions would be in direct violation not only of the laws of the republic but also of the ANC constitution, its values and principles and the resolutions and decisions of the ANC’s constitutional structure.
He said there was broad support in the ANC for the implementation of the step-aside policy, which asks ANC members who are charged with corruption or other charges to step aside from their positions pending the finalisation of the cases. Members who do not step aside may be suspended.