“State capture took place under our watch as the governing party,” ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa told the Zondo Commission today.
This was part of Ramaphosa’s opening address at the inquiry where he is expected to be questioned on state capture allegations by the commission.
He is appearing in his capacity as former ANC deputy president and as the current head of the ruling party.
Ramaphosa said state capture took off in the party because of the divisions that have manifested in the ANC since 1994.
He admitted that the ruling party could have done more to prevent corruption which he said has adversely affected the party and the country.
“State capture took place under our watch as the governing party. It involved some members and leaders of our organisation and it found fertile ground in the divisions, weaknesses and tendencies that have developed in our organisation since 1994,” Ramaphosa said.
He said: “We all acknowledge that the organisation could and should have done more to prevent the abuse of power and the misappropriation of resources that defined the era of state capture.”
He maintained that the party also admits that it made mistakes as it sought to execute the mandate it was given by the voters.
The ANC leader attempted to assure the inquiry that the movement does not support members who commit corruption and they will not be protected by the party.
“Such members must face the full legal consequences of their actions. They cannot rely on the ANC for support or protection, nor may they appeal to the principle of collective responsibility,” he said.
According to Ramaphosa, the era of state capture would be “relegated to history”.
“We acknowledge to the people of South Africa that we did not always live up to the values and principles that have defined the movement for over more than a century of its existence.
“We are determined and we undertake to work alongside all South Africans to ensure that the era of state capture is relegated to history and that the excesses that took place may never again occur in our country,” he said.
The inquiry continues.