South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has disclosed that as deputy to former President Jacob Zuma, he tried the best he could to resist corruption. Ramaphosa made the disclosure while testifying at a graft inquiry on Wednesday.
Since assuming office as President, Ramaphosa has made the fight against corruption a pillar of his administration. Unceasingly however, opposition parties continued to criticism him for not doing enough to stop the rot during his time as deputy.
Ramaphosa, who is making his second appearance before the graft enquiry which is probing Zuma’s nine years in office, stated that the first option available to him was to resign as deputy president, adding that though the move would have earned him plaudits, it would however, have “significantly impaired” his ability to end corruption.
According to him, the next option was to “remain but to resist, hoping that we can turn things around” adding however, that with “…the benefit of the benefit of hindsight, I am certain that this was the necessary and correct course of action.”
In the main, the enquiry is looking to unravel allegations of corruption against former President Zuma including claims that he gave free rein to close associates, particularly the Gupta brothers, Atul, Ajay, and Rajesh Gupta, to influence policy and win lucrative government contracts, allegations they have denied repeatedly having fled to Dubai where they now live.
Zuma has not only refused to fully cooperate with the enquiry, he has also denied that corruption was rife under his administration, opining that the inquiry is politically motivated. He was sent to prison early July for ignoring a court order mandating him to testify before the Zondo commission. His imprisonment resulted in widespread violence, referred to by observers as one of the worst in post-apartheid South Africa. He is currently serving a 15-month sentence.
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