Corruption ‘poison that kills ANC’, Ramaphosa laments

Corruption ‘poison that kills ANC’, Ramaphosa laments

African National Congress (ANC) president Cyril Ramaphosa has warned that corruption could be the death of the governing party. 

ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa at Charlotte Maxeke memorial 2021

The stern warning comes amid a myriad of scandals gripping the ANC – with several high-ranking officials implicated in the alleged looting of state resources. 

Despite the serious allegations, the ANC remains at loggerheads about how to root out corruption from its higher structures.  

The governing party hopes the ‘step aside’ resolution will give some direction. 

On Wednesday, Ramaphosa joined Fort Beaufort locals in the Eastern Cape in celebrating the 150th birthday of struggle stalwart Charlotte Maxeke. 

He called on ANC members to embody Maxeke’s principles of good conduct.  

“What I also do know is that she was such a woman of integrity, a woman of substance and that she would have said ‘no’ to corruption,” said Ramaphosa.  

“She would have known that corruption in the African national Congress is like poison and it kills. 

“First it will kill the organisation and then it will kill our people’s appetite to support the African national Congress and she would have refused to participate in any corruption,” he added. 


In his call for unity, Ramaphosa made no secret of the infighting threatening the core structure of the party.  

Ramaphosa reiterated his plea for a unified movement.  

“What I do know is that she would have been doggedly focused on the unity and the renewal of the African National Congress. She would have made it her daily task,” he said.  

“To her, that would have meant that there should not be any form of factionalism in the organisation, and she would have refused to be a member or a participant in any faction that could have come about.” 

Ramaphosa added the party’s leadership was short of women like Maxeke, urging the next generation of leaders to take the baton.  

“In a way you could even say that we have never some across a woman like Charlotte Maxeke yet. Maybe we haven’t. 

“She would have been a leading light, even today, in dealing with the challenges that we are grappling with right now – the challenges of Covid, of making sure that the infection rate in our country is brought under control.” 

In his address, Ramaphosa hailed Maxeke as a pioneer and a champion for women’s rights.  

“And yes, maybe where we make mistakes, she would have criticised us, she would have chastised us, she would have shown us the way, she should have advised us. 

“We need people like her. I need those types of women.” 

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