Editor's note: Cyril Ramaphosa has spoken at length about rooting out corruption, but he faces opposition to his reforms from within his own party. ANC veteran Ben Turok argues that Ace Magashule stands in the way of Ramaphosa's plan to clean up government.
"Let us set aside any doubts about President Cyril Ramaphosa wanting to fight corruption in our state institutions. He has taken some important initial steps that indicate the direction he wishes to go. The real question is whether he has the power to do so.
@Ramaphosa clearly has substantial power with respect to appointments at the top level of state institutions, but we now know that corruption has seeped down to some of the smallest municipalities, and it is not at all clear that the president’s wishes find any purchase there, and indeed even at provincial level.
"I raise this issue because there is now abundant evidence that there are pockets of resistance to the exposure of corruption, and this includes the clique around former president Jacob Zuma, who are not afraid of supporting him publicly. Among these is no less than ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Their power lies within ANC structures rather than the state, and we can now see how quite fierce battles take place involving those structures.
"To get a broad sense of the balance of power we have to go back to the original source of power within the ANC and the government. The constitution of the ANC gives local branches the basic power, which is conveyed upwards through two processes. First, branches elect delegates to national conference. The larger the branch, the more delegates. Second, branches make nominations for parliament and the provincial legislatures in what is called the list process.
"The national conference elects the top six officials and the national executive (which will subsequently elect the smaller national working committee). The top six meet weekly and form the engine room of everything. At present it consists of Ramaphosa as president; David Mabuza, deputy president; Magashule; Jessie Duarte, deputy secretary-general; Gwede Mantashe, party chair; and Paul Mashathile, treasurer.
Read the rest at Business Live.
"Ben Turok served as an ANC MP for 20 years and is currently the director of the Institute for African Alternatives."
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Briefly.co.za.
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