Ramaphosa Addresses South Africa’s Corruption

FILE – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa visits the COVID-19 treatment facilities at the NASREC Expo Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, April 24, 2020.

South Africa’s president has delivered a withering description of the corruption that plagues the ruling African National Congress.  

Cyril Ramaphosa, in a letter dated August 23, 2020 that was sent to all ANC members, began his castigation with the controversy surrounding the awarding of contracts to help the country deal with the COVID-19 contagion.  

“What has caused the greatest outrage is that there are private sector companies and individuals (including civil servants) who have exploited a grave medical, social and economic crisis to wrongfully enrich themselves,” the letter said.  “This is an unforgivable betrayal for the millions of South Africans who are being negatively affected by the impact of COVID-19, experiencing hunger daily, hopelessness and joblessness.”

A boy’s temperature is checked as he enters a school amid the coronavirus pandemic, in Johannesburg, South Africa, July 7, 2020.

Ramaphosa also wrote in the letter that it has been uncovered that “Billions of rands that should have gone to improved public transport, to better infrastructure for the poor, to reliable and affordable electricity, to emerging black farmers and to the broader development of our county have been stolen to line the pockets of a criminal few.”  

President Ramaphosa said people should not think of the ANC as a path to power, wealth and influence.  

“In the end,’ the president said, “we will not stop corruption within our ranks unless we deepen the ethical consciousness of our members, and particularly, our leaders.”  

South Africa ranked 70th out of 198 countries on the 2019 Transparency International Corruption Index, improving from its 73rd place ranking on the 2018 index.  

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