South Africa: Culture of Corruption Runs Deep Within the ANC, and Shielding Its Members From Accountability Is the Party’s Choice

Corruption has become an essential part of the way politics is conducted within the ANC, which means any credible attempts to address it would require the party to take radical steps to change its culture and the way it operates.

Former Eskom CEO André de Ruyter caused a stir when he said in an interview last week that “the pigs are at the trough at Eskom and the corruption goes right to the top of the ANC” (to borrow Justice Malala’s pithy summation). The interview outraged the ANC and its allies, with its secretary-general, Fikile Mbalula, calling the claims of political meddling and corruption at the embattled Eskom “unfortunate, irresponsible and baseless”.

I will leave it to others to opine on the wisdom of De Ruyter giving the interview, or on the extent to which he may or may not have been a failure as CEO of Eskom. What interests me here, rather, is to look beyond the immediate political dynamics at play, and reflect on what the vehement response from the ANC might tell us about the party’s longer-term efforts to address corruption within its ranks.

One way to do so is to revisit parts of the report of…



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