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Anti-apartheid activist Denis Goldberg is saddened by the greed and covetousness of many ANC leaders who hold power today. He has therefore denounced the corruption that is now so prevalent within the ruling party. In his view, political leaders who were bent on seeking personal enrichment posed a serious threat to freedom in our country.

Goldberg said that he was “not going to name names, because it’s a world-wide problem and particularly in South Africa right now.” He made it clear on BBC that corruption in the party had reached crisis level and that national ANC leaders were no better than local government leaders in respect of graft.

It is very important for ANC veterans to attack venality within the ruling party. Denis Goldberg spent more than 20 years in jail for fighting against apartheid. He paid the price as did Nelson Mandela, Andrew Mlangeni and Walter Sisulu after the Rivonia trial.

Mr Goldberg recognises that the rot is so deep that the entire ANC leadership from National, Provincial and Local government needed to be renewed from top to bottom. In very blunt terms he urged: “let us focus on the needs of our people, not on your needs as new political leaders, with access to power and therefore wealth and personal enrichment, which robs us of our freedom”.

This is not the first time that a very senior member of the ANC has raised the issue of corruption in the ANC. The President of the ANC Veterans League, Mr Sandi Sijaki, did the same. He was expelled from the ANC for demanding that President Zuma respect the findings and recommendations of the Public Protector and for the president to pay back a portion of the money spent on his private residence at Nkandla. He was kicked out of the ANC for that.

Congress of the People applauds Mr Goldberg for speaking up against the cancer that is destroying our country. He and so many others suffered so much to set us free and they expect South Africa to be better off as a result of their sacrifice. It must be very painful for him to see his party, the ANC, becoming a den for crooked and self-serving politicians.

COPE calls upon President Zuma to lead by example and resign. It is quite clear that he is presiding over a party where corruption has become the single most important criterion for climbing the political ladder. Indeed, the present ANC leadership is South Africa’s greatest liability. The ANC must weed out its corrupt leaders without further delay. They are growing rich at the expense of the people and of the economy.

Issued by Dennis Bloem, COPE spokesperson

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