In his bold and unapologetic resignation letter, Mavuso Msimang writes that the ANC has been plagued by widespread corruption for many years, leading to severe repercussions on the country’s leadership and the well-being of its underprivileged citizens, who still make up a significant portion of the population.

By Staff Reporter

ANC veteran Mavuso Msimang has resigned from the party, attributing his departure to the pervasive corruption within the organisation.

Msimang’s departure will hit the ANC hard as the party fights to maintain its grip on power in the upcoming national elections. With a history of exile and service in the armed wing of the ANC, Umkhonto weSizwe, Msimang was a key figure in the organisation’s communication efforts during its years of banishment.

In his candid resignation letter, Msimang expressed concerns about the long-standing issue of corruption within the ANC, highlighting its detrimental impact on the country’s governance and the lives of its citizens, particularly those in need.

Msimang criticised the ANC for its deficiencies, which have resulted in increasing unemployment, widespread crime, and the deterioration of state-owned power and logistics entities.

“An Eskom brought to its knees by high-level corruption and sabotage has literally rendered the nation powerless and all too often left it in the dark. Transnet’s mismanagement has derailed its freight haulage system. In consequence, road transporters who have stepped into the breach sometimes have to wait in 40km-long queues, while belching noxious gases into the atmosphere, because ports are congested. The resulting demurrage charges are inevitably, ultimately borne by the consumer. And the worst may yet happen: ships simply avoiding our ports and discharging their cargo in better-run ports elsewhere.”

Msimang says: “For several years now, the ANC has been wracked by endemic corruption, with devastating consequences on the governance of the country and the lives of poor people, of whom there continue to be so many.

“Of course, the ANC did not invent corruption. We inherited a state that was morally bankrupt and that was built on the most profound forms of corruption. When we took over government in 1994, we had the moral high ground, and the conviction that we would be able to root out the old-boy networks that had benefited from, and strangled, the apartheid economy.

“Yet, three decades later, the ANC’s own track record of corruption is a cause of great shame. The corruption we once decried is now part of our movement’s DNA. This has had dire consequences for the most vulnerable members of our society.”

In the letter, Msimang highlights the harsh reality that over four million people live in “shacks that are euphemistically referred to as ‘informal settlements’.”

He also draws attention to the presence of individuals, often referred to as beggars, who gather at traffic lights and town squares in every town. However, he emphasises that these individuals are not defined by their act of begging, but rather as human beings who have been compelled to compromise their dignity due to the repeated shortcomings of my party. He boldly states that the ANC claims to strive for a better life for all, yet the current situation suggests otherwise.

“A new black middle class has grown and developed, which is commendable. However, this middle class is leaving behind people who die before ambulances can reach them, or perish in the hallways of overflowing, under-resourced public hospitals.”

Msimang asserts that the African National Congress is responsible for a range of economic and social problems, including crime, unemployment, and destitution. He emphasises that these issues are not only embarrassing but also difficult to fully quantify.

“The litany of economic and social woes – crime, unemployment, destitution – associated with my beloved African National Congress is not only embarrassing, but also defies enumeration.

“It is a matter of public record that for over a decade I have added my voice to many others who have consistently decried and disapproved of corruption and its harmful by-products of nepotism and incompetence. The response of the leadership to this constructive censure has, at best, been a shoulder shrug and a promise to do something about it; at worst those who seek change by raising voices endure slurs, or are met with downright hostility.”

Unfortunately, he states, despite some positive moments, the ANC is at risk of losing power: “This is not because Ezulweni Investments, a small company from Newcastle, got a writ of attachment against the ANC for R150 million, and the high court sheriff has been to Luthuli House to attach immovable property. It is because, as its own pollsters have warned, the ANC is currently falling significantly short of securing outright victory during next year’s elections.

“This dramatic decline in the organisation’s popularity is attributable to widely held perceptions that its members and ‘deployees’ are corrupt, that the organisation has a high tolerance threshold for venality, and that the deployment of unsuitable people accounts for the government’s deplorable levels of service to the public.”

Time To Go

Msimang concludes his letter with a poignant realisation: “Consequently, I have come to the realisation that my time and energies would be better spent elsewhere. Even as I painfully sever ties with my once glorious organisation, I shall continue to keep a vigil over any and all matters pertaining to governance in the country. It is not easy to leave an organisation that continues to be home to some of the most dedicated individuals I have had the good fortune, honour and privilege to call comrades. But it is time to go.”

During his time in exile, Msimang lent his expertise to organisations such as the United Nations and Care International. Upon returning to South Africa just before the 1994 elections, he took on various significant roles, including leading SA Tourism, serving as CEO of the State Information Technology Agency, and holding the position of Director-General in the Department of Home Affairs. This year, he was elected as the deputy president of the Veteran’s League.

To read the full letter click here

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